Nakumatt Supermarkets has suspended more than 30 employees and threatened them with the sack for participating in a strike two weeks ago to protest non-payment of salaries.
The retailer has issued show-cause and suspension letters to the employees who were among those who took to Mombasa Road, Nairobi, on August 1 to protest delay of their June and July salaries.
Nakumatt, which is under severe financial pressure due to a mountain of debt and delays in securing an equity investor, has suspended the employees from August 15 to August 30 for participating in â€œillegalâ€ industrial action.
The retailer has also given the employees until August 22 to explain why they should not be dismissed for â€œeconomic sabotage.â€
Nakumatt argues that the employees went on strike illegally since their union , Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW), had not instructed them to do so.
â€œYou are asked to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against you for participating in the illegal strike,â€ says Francis Kimotho, Nakumattâ€™s human resource manager, in a letter to one of the affected employees.
â€œIn the event that your explanation is not received within the stipulated period, it shall be assumed that you have no explanation to offer and disciplinary action shall be taken against you which may include summary dismissal.â€