Equator Bottlers, Kisumu workers are living in fear of the company shutting down due to the many labour-related court cases and financial difficulties.
More than 50 years in the business, the lakeside company has been struggling especially after senior officers were moved to Nairobi.
This is after an acquisition by Coca Cola Beverage Africa (CCBA) which saw a shift by officers to the head offices in the capital.
“Some of the top managers have been sacked. Others resigned immediately the management was relocated to Nairobi,” a source is quoted by a local daily.
CEO Enrique Huertha, human resource manager John Karari, sales director Daniel Koech and credit controller Eugene Mathenge were all sacked, causing panic among the employees who are either directly or indirectly earning a living at the company.
“We fear the company could be relocated to another country. It is currently facing many suits,” another source who sought anonymity divulged.
Ex-managing director Wilson Daley quit earlier on in the year while five others who were dismissed unprocedurally took the matter to the halls of justice.
They have since won their cases and are set to receive compensation.
The company, we understand has employed at least 500,000 Kenyans who could lose their livelihoods should it all come crumbling down.
But according to the company’s credit controller Julius Gicheha, the company will continue with it’s operations with no plans of to close down.
He did however acknowledge that the company was acquired by CCBA in 2017 and is now a subsidiary of the company with no financial difficulties whatsoever.
Equator Bottlers, bottles and distributes Coca-Cola’s range of soft drinks in seven counties in western Kenya.
These are; Kakamega, Busia, Siaya, Vihiga, Bomet, Kericho and Kisumu with 20,000 outlets serving an estimated 6.5 million consumers.