Following earlier allegations of mistreatment and underpayment of workers at Del Monte, it has emerged that the company fired at least 1,000 employees this January.
According to those in the know, the sacked workers did not receive a send-off package in accordance with labour laws that require compensation of workers in case they are fired without notice.
The company went ahead and contracted a third party company(Pewa Roma) to be maintaining their vast pineapple fields.
“This company(headed by Chege & Ndung’u) has taken advantage of the situation and pays Ksh14 per one line where chances are that one can probably complete 10 lines at most,” says our source. This translates to Ksh140 a day. Earlier reports had indicated that the fastest person could only finish four lines.
The company also has decided against using banks or saccos to pay its workers (presumably to avoid paying union fees, NSSF, NHIF and tax), and instead they are paid via Mpesa.
Sources indicate that workers are ferried to their respective work areas via hired 14-seater matatus that carry around 20 workers, contrary to traffic rules.
Del Monte’s new policy(effective from Jan 2019)states they no longer employ anyone above 50 years.
“How can you live with yourself knowing you ignore human rights. How on earth should field workers be able to support their families?” questioned Ellen van Gemert, a former Customer Service at Goedhart Keukens en Tegels in Netherlands.
The company is yet to respond to the allegations.
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