The troubled government-owned Chemelil Sugar company lost a total of Sh20 million because of the two days strike by the workers.
On Wednesday, the factory entered day three of the strike with operations stalling
According to the company Managing Director Gabriel Nyangueso, the strike that started on Monday has grounded operations of the factory.
Nyangueso noted that the factory mills 1,500 tonnes of sugar every day which translates to Sh10 million.
“Each day we don’t mill we are losing about Sh10 million”, he said.
Speaking to the press in Chemelil, Nyangueso said the effect of the strike has huge ramifications not only to the management and transporters but also to the farmers.
He noted that some farmers had already harvested their cane waiting to be delivered to the factory for crushing.
“Transporters too are losing since they are paid on tonnage delivered,” Nyangueso added.
He further noted that the strike was going against the directive issued by the Ministry of Agriculture that outlined a number of measures aimed at revitalizing the firm.
“There is also an existing court case that had put on hold the strike by the workers until a case they lodge in court is heard and dispensed,” he noted.
On Tuesday, 29 people were arrested following a standoff over the control and management of a state-owned sugar mill.
A section of workers tried to deny the company’s MD Nyangweso access to the mill claiming he had been sent on compulsory leave.
David Muneo OCPD Chemelil noted that the secretary of the Union Jack Sida plus other 29 workers who were rioting were apprehended and taken to the police station.
He noted that they will be presented in court and charged.
“Amongst the charges are damages of property, creating a disturbance and probably incitement,” Muneo said.
CAS Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Ann Nyaga condemned the incident terming it as unfortunate.
“We expected calm, and that the machines would not be interfered with but that is not what we are getting from the union”.
She noted that people can have disagreements but there are ways to go about them.
“Those are illegal actions. There are ways of expressing grievances in different manners”, the CAS noted.
A series of meetings had been held between the management of the company and the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation and Allied Workers since December 22 last year.
However, last Wednesday, a resolution was made for the company to adhere to and communicate to all the workers during a meeting of the interim management committee, representatives of the union, company management and AFA-Sugar Directorate.
“The main interest of the ministry was to ensure that this factory is running continuously because many critical people benefit from this factory.”