Court Halts Tuskys Supermarket's Planned Layoffs
Kevin Namunwa  |  Sep 25, 2020

Tuskys Supermarket’s intended layoffs has now been halted by a High Court judge. The retail chain had said that the planned layoff was a restructuring plan aimed at keeping the cash-strapped retailer afloat.

Employment and Labour Relations court judge Stephen Radido froze the job cuts pending the hearing of the suit where the workers’ union wants the layoffs stopped because Tuskys failed to issue a timely notice.

The cash strapped retailer has already had two massive layoffs this year where it has shed more than 400 union jobs.

Tuskys is facing a cash crunch that has seen it lose customers, suppliers and stores to auctioneers.

“That pending the hearing of the motion inter partes and or further directions, an order do hereby issue restraining the respondent from further declaring any redundancies unlawfully and or unprocedurally,” said justice Radido.

“That motion be served for inter partes hearing or further orders on October 8, 2020.”

In defending the employees, The Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (Kucfaw) said Tuskys did not meet the 30-day notice period. The retailer is said to have issued a notice of four days.

In a redundancy letter to workers dated 21st September, Tuskys Human Resource Manager Francis Kimani said the layoffs and restructuring is part of the ongoing business operations realignments.

He added that the affected workers will be paid notice in lieu, unutilised annual leave days and severance pay.

The terminal dues, Mr Kimani said will be paid out on February 13, 2021.

Tuskys has been struggling financially for the best part of 2020. The retail chain has had two massive layoffs and closure of stores in an attempt to keep the business afloat.

Just a week ago, the supermarket chain received a Ksh 500 Million from a Mauritius-based fund to help it settle debts and keep the business afloat. However, barely a week later, Tuskys announced that it was planning for a third layoff.