Workers camp in Yala swamp to block tucks from transporting sugarcane
Sacked employees of Dominion Farms limited have vowed to camp at the company’s Yala swamp farm to block transportation of sugarcane to the millers.
The workers say they were prepared to maintain a 24 hour vigil to ensure that no produce is hauled from the farm until the American investor, who laid them off, clears their dues. The company that was initially growing rice, later extended to sugarcane farming in the vast swamp.
Speaking to the media at the farm on Thursday, the workers led by Stephen Odhiambo Achieng lamented that sugarcane has been leaving the farm for West Kenya Sugar Mills despite the company chief executive, Calvin Burgess claiming that all operations have stopped due to hostile business environment.
“We were told that the company operations stopped from the beginning of November, 2017 and we are wondering how the cane has been leaving the farm” he said.
Another worker, Fredrick Owino Oloo questioned where the funds received from the sales of the farm products are being remitted to, given that the management had told the workers that all its accounts had been closed.
The called on the government to intervene and have the company pay its 350 laid off workers their dues before it winds up its operations.
The company laid off its entire workforce on November 10th 2017 when it issued them with a termination notice.
The employees said the company owes them sh. 350 million shillings and a further 900 million for the suppliers.
Local leaders, among them former Alego / Usonga MP, Sammy Weya and the central Alego ward member of the county assembly, Leonard Oriaro accused the investor of trying to sneak out of the country without clearing the workers’ dues and vowed to institute legal proceedings against him.
By Philip Onyango