March 21, 2023

Kenya: Court Orders South African Retailer Massmart to Stop Victimizing Union Workers

2 min read

Nairobi — The Employment and Labour Relations Court has warned South-African retailer MassMart against victimizing employees opting to join unions.

Justice Berbard Matanga issued the order that involves the Builders Warehouse Kenya LTD vs the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers.

Last year, Massmart initiated talks with employees on closure plans after it failed to sell the local unit as well as in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria.

The closure will render hundreds of Kenyans jobless, coming at a time when unemployment in the Country is very high.

“THAT pending the hearing and determination of the application inter-partes, the court hereby issues an order restraining the Respondent from engaging in acts of intimidation and victimization of its employees who are members of the Applicant Union on account of their decision to join the Applicant Union,” Matanga said.

In 2021, the retailer announced plans to close Games Stores in Kenya on or about December 25.

In a letter notice to the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (“the Union”), the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company said it had informed all its associates and employees of impending closure.

A copy of the notice was also copied to the Labour Officer.

Consequently, the firm issued a 1-month of redundancy in accordance with section 40 of the Employment Act.

Massmart is owned by American retail giant Walmart. It first entered Kenya with Game Stores in 2015, at the Garden City Mall. It Later opened other stores at the Waterfront in Karen and the Mega City Mall in Kisumu.

Game stores sell fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) as well as non-perishable groceries in numerous African countries.

South African firms have found it hard to crack the Kenyan market prompting exits for brands like magazines publisher Media24, household goods outlet Supreme Furniture, among others.

The firm has invited the Union and the representatives to engage with it on terminal benefits as well as whether there are any means to mitigate the adverse effects of redundancy.


Capital FM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mega Onion Darkmarket