About 70 employees of the Kericho branch of troubled Nakumatt supermarkets chain Saturday locked themselves up in the shop for over a day to prevent the management from taking stock as its closure looms.
Led by their spokesman, Mr Njoroge Mwangi, the employees at the Greensquare Mall claimed that they have not been paid salaries for the last six months.
The employees had been holed inside the supermarket from Friday morning preventing the directors from emptying the shelves or closing the supermarket.
Mr Mwangi said they will not back down until they receive their salary arrears totalling Sh7 million.
“We have been patient and understanding towards the management for almost six months but now we are saying that stock taking will not take place in Kericho until we get paid our dues," said Mr Mwangi.
"Besides the salary arrears, our other grievances are that our employer made deductions from our salaries for the pension scheme but did not remit the money to the National Social Security Fund, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as well as our savings and credit cooperative society,” he added.
They are accused the directors of planning to silently shut down the supermarket chain without paying them their dues.
At the same time, the employees claimed that their union officials to have been compromised so as to turn a blind eye on their issues.
“We will not allow stock taking,” Mr Mwangi, adding that the same happened in Kisii and Nyanza where workers were used by management to do stocktaking and then property was carted away and the supermarkets closed down without warning.
The workers argued that their jobs at the supermarket are their only source of livelihood and that without the money, they will not be able to clear their debts including rent.
By Saturday evening, the employees were still locked inside the mall, demanding audience with the top Nakumatt management.