Uganda – Kakira Sugar Works Lays Off 142 Workers

Kakira Sugar Works Ltd (KSW) laid-off its entire security department of 142 people, said a report by The Monitor of Kampala posted on the Internet on 4 February.

Workers got their termination letters on 24 January; and the company will pay them a January salary, three months pay in lieu of notice of redundancy, any outstanding leave and travel allowances and gratuity to those with more than eight years of service.
The workers have accused management of going against a 1998 agreement that it signed with the National Union of Agricultural and Plantation Workers (NUPAW) – Uganda. The workers argue that whereas the agreement stipulates that redundant workers are entitled to three months salary in lieu of notice and another three months salary, the company has only offered three months’ wages in lieu of notice. They also said that the firm did not follow the principle of first in last out, as stipulated in the agreement; and that allowances for transport, settlement, responsibility and housing, had also not been paid.
Kakira Sugar Works outsourced the security services to Industrial Security Services (ISS), which, as Kakira, is also a subsidiary of the Madhvani Group of Companies.
As reported in the January 2005 issue of the Sugar Worker (also posted on this site), Kakira Sugar Works has announced an expansion plan to double its annual production to about 150,000 tonnes of sugar by 2010.

Permanent link to this article:

1 comment

    • Yahya on February 16, 2005 at 7:00 pm

    I have read the news about Kakira and have discovered what has happenned there resembles the situation in Kilombero Sugar Company in Tanzania. Prior to 1998, Kilombero Sugar was a public corporation but was then privitised and sold to ILLOVO. Soon after ILLOVO take – over, a crisis emerged because ILLOVO did not honour the existing CBA. After a bitter struggle, ILLOVO laid off all employees (about 7,000)and started to recruit same employees but made sure all union leaders were left out. Immidiately, ILLOVO sub – contracted some departments i.e. Security and Sugar cane transportation to South African companies. ILLOVO remained with 700 employees only.
    Under the direction of ILLOVO, the subcontractors instructed their employees to withdraw their union membership. The subcontractors forced the employees to join 2 other unions. Without employees’ consent they submitted membership fees to the new unions. The workers requested our Union (TPAWU) to take legal action on their behalf. TPAWU managed to get a court order which restricted the subcontractors from deducting membership fees until the matter is decided in a court of law. Meanwhile, ILLOVO used every dirty trick to undermine TPAWU. TPAWU has tried to negotiate working conditions with ILLOVO since 2000 but has not concluded a CBA. TPAWU decided to take a legal action against ILLOVO late last year. At same time a significant number of qualified staff have decided to terminate their services. Last week, ILLOVO requested TPAWU to resume CBA negotiations on Monday 21 February 2005. It is therefore important to note that sub -countracting is used by sugar companies to pay low salaries, weaken trade unions, and to lay – off workers.It is important that a code of practice is needed in the sugar sector to make sure that even workers in the sub contracted companies are coveres by the same CBA as that covering workers in main company. It must also ensure that all sugar workers belong to one union i.e. agricultural workers union
    Yahya Msangi

Comments have been disabled.