Laid off workers demand salary

Published on 27/02/2009

By Kepher Otieno

Chaotic scenes played out at Swan Industries yesterday, when former workers stormed the factory to demand their salary arrears.

There was heavy police presence after word spread that the laid off staff were allegedly planning to set the industry, which was last week put under receivership, on fire.

The more than 200 workers stormed the factory and pitched tent at the gate, demanding they be paid their salary arrears before being laid off. They were, however, denied entry by security guards. Only a few representatives, led by union chairman Richard Wekesa, were allowed into the premises to discuss the mode of payment with the new management.

The irate workers were stunned yesterday, when they reported on duty as normal, only to find new security guards at the gate. They said they were not duly notified of their dismissal. Swan industries manufactures sweets and confectionaries and its one of the largest manufacturing firms in Nyanza.The firm was placed under receivership over an undisclosed amount it owes I&M; Bank.

Receiver managers

A copy of the Kenya Gazette notice showed to The Standard, lists new joint receiver managers as Mr Vipul Shah and Mr Dipesh Shah. The new receiver managers declined to speak to the press.

“We are not allowed to speak to the press at the moment,” said a caretaker, Mr Vivek Shah.

However, Mr Dipesh Shah said they were still taking stock of the company’s assets and refused to divulge more details.

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