Tuskys Supermarket intends to layoff more employees to stay afloat amid downfall reports, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
Details on the new layoffs targeting at least 80 staffers emerged after the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW) moved to court to block the intended redundancies.
In the petition before the Employment and Labour Relations Court, the union details that Tuskys management is planning to sack the employees over the effects of Covid-19 on its business.
“That pending hearing and determination of this matter, this honourable court be pleased to issue and order restraining the respondent from declaring eighty unionisable employees redundant for reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic,” read the petition dated June 19.
The union further seeks orders to compel Tuskys to lay bare the selection criteria deployed in the redundancy process and observe the last in first out (LIFO) criteria in the selection of employees to be affected.
The latest development comes just four months after Tuskys announced a restructuring of its operations to ensure financial viability which saw a number of employees lose jobs.
The decision was informed by a drop in sales and the number of customers despite the rapid growth of the retail sector, a letter dated February 18 explains.
The new layoff plans also come at a time the supermarket is said to be struggling to pay suppliers with its shelves running empty.
Kahawa Tungu understands that the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has launched a probe into the supermarket’s bank accounts over Ksh1.2 billion owed to suppliers.
CAK has asked the management to furnish it with bank statements, audited accounts, list of suppliers, and their contracts.
On top of it, the watchdog has also asked the retailer to pay suppliers Ksh1.29 billion by July 16, warning that retailers who fail to pay suppliers risk a jail term.
“Any person who fails to comply with the order of the authority commits an offence. This matter remains under investigations and further orders will be issued as and when merited,” said CAK.
However, the management of the Supermarket disputed the amount, saying that it owed suppliers a total of Ksh884.3 million.
CAK, in an independent investigation, found out that the retailer had failed to disclose another Ksh400.9 million owed to suppliers.
But as recently reported on this blog, mismanagement, theft and corruption are the biggest contributors to the downfall of Tuskys Supermarket.
The giant retailer, according to insiders, could follow the path witnessed in the downfall of Nakumatt, mainly due to mismanagement and family wrangles.