Tuskys Supermarket troubles financial continue after it sacked tens if its workforce and shut four branches across the country.
Shopaxo has learned that the supermarket, owned by Tusker Mattresses Ltd, has sacked workers that are not unionized most of who had gone several months without salaries.
The supermarket, over the past few month has had to shrink it number of branches as its financial woes continue.
The retailer has been running 63 branches spread across Kenya and Uganda, but its operation are now in limbo as rent, electricity and other utilities pull it down.
Power has already been disconnected from several branches by Kenya power after they were unable to pay their bills on time, which in turn have turned to expensive diesel generators to keep their businesses running.
Already nine branches have already been shut including the five in Uganda and four in Kenya namely, Tuskys Hakati in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD), the Kilifi branch, Nairobi’s K-Mall outlet in Komarock Estate and
In addition to all five Ugandan branches that have remained shuttered for weeks now, Nairobi’s K-Mall outlet in Komarock Estate, Tuskys Hakati in the Nairobi and Eldoret’s Uganda Road.
This follows the closure of three branches that begun in April of this year, with three branches in Nairobi, one in Kitale and another in Mombasa.
Shopaxo leaned that Tuskys has an estimated 2,000 permanent and pensionable employees who are unionised and about 4,000 mainly low-cadre workers who are outsourced from firms such as Artemis Outsourcing Ltd, Amicum and Qrisha.
Tuskys woos continue even as a reported cash injection of Ksh2 billion ($20 million) from an undisclosed Mauritius fund does not seem to have improved the fortunes of the debt-ridden retailer, which inevitably seems to be going the Nakumatt way.
Staff contracted under the outsourcing firms started receiving their termination letters on Thursday, September 10 with promises of them seeing their salaries settled by the end of the month.
One employee who had been summoned to at the Artemis offices on Kimathi Street told The East African, “We are staff that have been outsourced to Tuskys and we have been working there for a while. We have been called to their offices. Some of us are being given termination letters, others are being told that we will get back to you. For those who are being given termination letters you are given a cheque of which you are not sure whether it is going to bounce or not by the end of the month.”
However, Boniface Kavuvi, the Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers said none of its members had been affected by the layoffs.
“If workers are sacked and happen to be our members they come to us for presentation,” he said.
“You are hereby notified to proceed on unpaid leave effective July 24, 2020, until further notice or when business operations at our client premises will normalise. Kindly note that in the event in the event that the situation of our client does not improve, clause 1 and 13 of your employment contract will take effect immediately,” read in part the letter issued to one of the workers by Artemis Outsourcing Ltd and seen by Shopaxo.
As it faces more woes, Tuskys has not paid thousands of its direct and outsourced employees for the months of July and August, with salary arrears topping an estimated Ksh320 million.
- *Parts of this post have been adapted from The East African.