Finlays Flowers, Kenyans are not fools, we are moving to court — COTU’s Francis Atwoli
COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has threatened to move to court to challenge the decision by Kericho-based flower company Finlays to lay-off more than 1000 workers over what they termed as poor flower sales in Europe.
On Monday Finlays managing director Steve Scott informed the workers that they will shut down two farms in Kericho that is Chemirei and Tarakwet flower farms by December 25 2019.
“The flower industry has been facing severe challenges in the last 18 months due to an oversupply in the European Market and decreasing demand. The prices have remained very low,” said Scott.
According to Atwoli, Finlays has overlooked their earlier agreement where they stated that the two farms will be shut at the end of December 2020.
“The notice issued was not proper because they had given us a notice of closing up on December 31, 2020, when they brought it forward to this year they have not communicated to us officially which prompts us to move to court and face them because what they have been doing in flowers and tea they have been applying total exploitation,” said Atwoli.
“I want to tell Finlays Flowers not to think that Kenyans are fools, they have not been paying taxes and statutory deductions like NHIF and NSSF and now they want to avoid it because the government has narrowed down on them they want to give a lame excuse that the cost of production and poor prices of flowers in Europe let the close but pay workers as per the review CBA,” he added.
“We are moving to court and we will ensure Finlays Flowers pay workers,” Atwoli.