Layoffs loom in Nestlé Nairobi office closure

Wednesday May 30 2018

Nestle factory. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Nestle factory. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By LYNET IGADWAH
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Global food processor Nestlé is set to send home tens of its staff in Equatorial Africa Region (EAR) as competition and high operating costs weigh it down.

Nestlé Kenya - one of the operating companies under Nestle EAR - has over 100 employees at its head office majority of whom are Kenyans.

The consumer goods manufacturer announced Tuesday it is embarking on reorganisation of its sub-Saharan Africa operations to stay afloat.

“Our team in EAR has done a tremendous job, but after trying for nearly 10 years we can no longer sustain the cost of the regional head office with the size of the business there,” read a statement from the company.

The firm did not, however, respond to our queries on how many Kenyan staff would be laid off.

Nestlé EAR, which is headquartered in Nairobi covers 20 countries including Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

They also include Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

End of July

Nestlé said it will be closing the EAR office at the end of July and redistributing responsibilities between its continental regional head offices in Accra and Johannesburg.

“The positions of those who work in the country/cluster offices across EAR are not affected by this closure of the regional head office,” it said.

The company said the changes will not affect customers, trade and wholesale partners, and suppliers.

In 2015, Nestlé suffered a blow after a court suspended the layoff of 46 employees following their petition claiming it discriminated against them.

Justice Nduma Nderi restrained the firm from effecting a redundancy notice that was set to send the 46 senior and junior workers packing.