Date set for East Africa Portland Cement Company staff to exit
Employees of the troubled East Africa Portland Cement Company (Eapcc) have started receiving dismissal letters which require them to exit the firm on October 19.
The Athi River-based cement maker is seeking to declare its entire 800 employees redundant before asking them to reapply under new terms, with the aim of trimming its bloated wage bill.
The firm says 600 employees will be rehired on 40 per cent of their previous pay.
The company, currently operating at 50 per cent production, had declared it would dismiss all its employees on July 7, only to withdraw the notice barely a day later, leaving the workers in limbo.
In the notice, Eapcc cited massive losses occasioned by “unbearable wage bill” due to the bloated workforce. It said the situation had subjected the company to a daily lose of Sh8 million.
About 136 employees have already received letters of termination of their employment in the first phase that will cost the company Sh600 million.
In the meeting, with all employees on August 23, and subsequent departmental meetings, the company explained why it is considering re-organisation and restructuring which would lead to loss of employment on account of redundancy.
“As you are further aware the company has explored ways in which your redundancy could be avoided, and the possibility of alternative employment.
Unfortunately, it has not been able to identify any alternative employment for you or any way in which your redundancy could be avoided,’’ the letter reads in part.
“The company very much regrets that it has become necessary to make redundancies and that you have been affected,’’ it adds.
The company has in a circular to shareholders expressed intention to sell part of its 12,000 acres of land in Mavoko to pay debtors and raise working capital.
Acting managing director Stephen Nthei said the redundancy exercise is taking place in phases and expected to be completed by the end of this year.