alexa Del Monte faces product boycott - Daily Nation

Del Monte faces product boycott

Thursday November 25 1999

By NATION Reporter

and Correspondent

The Kenya Human Rights Commission has called for a boycott of Del Monte products.

In their call, the rights body accused the firm of violating workers' rights.

At the same time, the commission formed a committee comprising workers and human rights organisations to agitate for the boycott.

The executive director of the commission, Dr Willy Mutunga, said the violations relate to the conditions of work at the company's farms and factories, remuneration and other conditions of employment.

But the management, represented by Mr Wallace Mantu and Mr P.J. Mbugua, accused the workers of lying.

There was a heated exchange of words between the two and members of the commission.

Mr Mbugua warned that the action would jeopardise the jobs of the 7,000 workers employed by Del Monte and cost the country millions in foreign currency.

The campaign is being used by international mafia to destroy employment in Kenya. In fact, Kenya stands to lose 30 per cent of its market share in Italy alone, he said.

Mr Mantu invited members of the commission to a meeting and the Press to visit the company and verify the allegations.

But Dr Mutunga said the company did not provide adequate protective cover to workers despite using highly toxic chemicals.

Dr Mutunga was launching the campaign at Chester, Nairobi, yesterday.