EPZ workers protest over alleged unlawful dismissals

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 2 Feb, 2022 18:03 | 2 mins read

Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) workers' unrest over alleged unlawful dismissals entered day two.

More than 4,000 workers in one of the garment-making companies ( Hela intimate) staged protests over an alleged scheme they say is aimed at denying them service payment fee.

In dramatic scenes, on Tuesday, protesting workers were locked inside the company and manned by armed police officers who even denied union officials entry. To the shock of the workers, they were all denied entry into the company on Wednesday.

The workers further decry that the company has recently been issuing summary dismissal to workers who question the management over violation of workers' rights.

They alleged the dismissal targeted those entitled to be paid service benefits of years of service.

The devastated workers further claim that the company's management has been using police who keep vigil in the company to intimidate and harass them.

Women with newborn kids are said to be mistreated too and scheduled to work on night shifts.

The workers now want Cotu and the ministry of labour to intervene and investigate mismanagement and harassment of the workers.

"We want the company's management to be investigated about the many deductions in our payslips. We also do not understand how a single worker can have two payroll numbers and be paid one salary," Mueni Mutua said.

However, Hela intimate management through an internal memo yesterday denied claims that the company intends to change its name refraining from addressing the other myriad issues raised by the workers.

"We reiterate that there is no change in management or ownership of the company and no plans for any redundancy. Hela intimates remains as it is," part of the memo signed by the management reads.

The protest comes barely three weeks after 2, 000 workers of Global Apparel within the same zone raised alarm over similar allegations leading to temporary closure of the company before the matter was resolved.

EPZ zone has 18 companies with over 25,000 employees.