More than 1,000 workers at Finlays Kenya, a multi-national flower firm, will lose their jobs by the end of the year after the flower company announced plans to close its Chemirei and Tarakwet flower farms by December 25.
In a statement, General Manager Stephen Scott said the farm has been experiencing challenges from the external market leading to low returns.
“It is no secret that in the last 18 months, the flower industry has been facing severe challenges… As a result, the directors have made the decision to close Chemirei and Tarakwet farms earlier than initially communicated. The final closure date will now be December 25,” the statement reads.
All employees would be made redundant in accordance with labour laws and existing Collective Bargain Agreements.
“Junior and senior management who are leaving the business will be communicated to on one-on-one basis,” said Scott.
In April 2018, the company announced the intention to close the two farms. However, this was opposed by the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU).
In 2014, KPAWU demanded implementation of the 2014-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which awarded workers a 30 percent salary increment.
In 2017, the company also experienced massive losses where 40,000 employees under the Kenya Agricultural and Plantation Workers’ Union (KAPWU) in Kericho, Bomet and Nandi downed their tools.