Sony Sugar sends 300 workers on compulsory leave

Sunday May 12 2019

Sony Sugar Company

Sony Sugar Company workers protesting outside the company over delayed salaries. The company has sent 300 casual workers on compulsory leave. PHOTO | BENSON AYIENDA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BENSON AYIENDA
By BENSON AYIENDA
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Sony Sugar company board of management has sent 300 casual workers on a three-month compulsory leave starting Monday in a bid salvage the firm’s performance which has been on a declining trend.

The 300 staff are among the 1,500 workers who staged a two-week strike last month. They were demanding payment for January, February and March which, they claimed, had delayed in unclear circumstances.

LOSS OF CANE

A letter dated May 9, 2019 and signed by the company’s acting Managing Director James Oluoch stated that the company had been experiencing unfavourable business environment characterised by massive loss of cane to private millers through theft.

“In the period February to date we have experienced declining performance and inadequate milling cane something that compelled us to send the said employees on leave as we look forward to reorganise ourselves,” said the board’s chairperson, Mr Charles Owino Likowa on phone on Sunday.

Only those staff working in critical operational areas and essential services may be considered for retention to ensure continuity in operations.

DELAYED SALARIES

“We may be forced to reduce the number of employees as we have been spending a lot of money on salaries, something that has been affecting the company’s growth,” said Mr Likowa.

During this period, the management will initiate recovery measures including annual plant maintenance to stabilise the factory and pay salary arrears as performance improves.

Casual workers have since been directed to hand over the company’s property prior to proceeding on leave.