Union raises concern over job losses in flower farms

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Kenya Export Floriculture, Horticulture and Allied Workers Union has expressed concern over the high job losses in the floriculture sub-sector.

The union pointed at Karuturi flower farm in Naivasha where more than 3,000 workers were laid off, noting that one year down the line the former employees were yet to get their dues.

As a result of events at the troubled farm, it noted, hundreds of families have been adversely affected, one leading health centre nearby closed and levels of education affected.

The concerns were raised when the union’s executive committee met for the first time at a Naivasha hotel after the Employment and Labour Relations Court directed the Registrar of Trade Unions to register the new body.

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Addressing the press, Secretary-General David Omulama admitted that the sub-sector faced various challenges but was quick to note that this could be addressed without industrial unrest.

“We are committed to addressing the plight of workers which include low payment, casualisation of labour, long working hours and poor working conditions,” he said.

He said none of the workers from Karuturi had received their benefits, adding that the farm could be reopened if there was goodwill from the government and the courts. “It is emerging statutory deductions were not remitted meaning workers have lost nearly all their savings for over 20 years,” he said.

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