Tuskys fires staff in company restructruring


Tuskys fires staff in company restructruring
File image of Tuskys Supermarket. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • In a letter seen by Citizen Digital addressed to individual staff members and copied to the Nairobi Labour Office and the Secretary General to the Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW), the retailer says it is constrained forcing it to lay off some of its staff.

Retailer Tuskys has fired part of its employees following a major re-organization of the firm’s strategy that saw the restructuring of various departments.

In a letter seen by Citizen Digital addressed to individual staff members and copied to the Nairobi Labour Office and the Secretary General to the Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW), the retailer says it is constrained forcing it to lay off some of its staff.

“Regretfully, you are among the employees whom Tusker Mattresses Limited can no-longer continue to offer employment and will terminate your employment contract with effect from March 19, 2020 on account of redundancy,” reads one of the letter’s.

While the retailer did not provide official feedback to Citizen Digital queries on the number of staff affected, a source close to management confirmed the layoffs happened about two weeks ago and that management is set to host a crisis meeting on Friday.

Affected staff will receive one month’s salary and further take home pay for any untaken leave days and severance with the termination dues being collected on April 4.

The supermarket, which has humble beginnings from Nakuru, boasts 65 branches across Kenya and Uganda and has a staff base of over 6000 employees while further enlisting nearly 800 independent suppliers.

While the supermarket’s financial position remains private as a non-listed company, Tuskys has hinted at a review of its internal structure as it seeks to incorporate a strategic investor to guide it into a possible public listing in the near term.

“The first thing would be to improve our internal governance structure. We would need to ensure that our structure can withstand public scrutiny upon listing. Our goal would be to present a well-capitalized company to investors as we wouldn’t want to be confronted by the suggestion that we are only listing for money,” Tusker Mattresses Limited Dan Githua told Citizen Digital in an August 1, 2019 interview.

The family-owned supermarket has previously been the subject of heated internal wrangles which tainted its stability with the five heirs to the business facing off for the control of the company.

Even so, Tuskys has ceded its daily operations away from family ties by recently installing seven general managers to oversee the day to day running of the business.

The retailer has most recently taken on an expansive strategy based on a combination of e-commerce services and the exploration of a franchise model to grow on its regional presence.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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