Portlands risk auctioneer’s hammer as cash crunch bites

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023 10:40 | By
Portlands risk auctioneer’s hammer as cash crunch bites
Portlands risk auctioneer’s hammer as cash crunch bites

Troubled East Africa Portland Cement Company(EAPCC) sunk deeper into danger as production at the Athi River-based cement maker has stalled for the last two weeks.

Workers who sought anonymity for fear of being victimised said “barely six months after the government announced initiatives to revamp the cement maker, very little manufacturing goes on at the EAPCC”.

During a fact-finding mission at the factory in November last year, Trade Investment and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria announced a raft of measures to turn around EAPCC and officially launched a new cement brand, the green triangle cement.

However, a financial crisis continues to chock the firm taking a toll on the manufacturer, amid claims of protracted wrangles at the top management.

Lack of raw materials, huge unsettled bills owed to Kenya Power Company and lack of working capital have been cited as factors that have hindered operations.

Recovery of Sh1.4 billion

Concerns abound that following a letter dated 17th May 2023, the Employment and Labor Relations court gave an order that former employees attach moveable properties to recover an outstanding Sh1.4 billion owed to them. The directive has led EAPC to be a guarded zone as the facility enhanced security which includes intensified checkups at the company entrance. This follows a suit in which Kenya Chemical and Allied Workers Union and Juliet Kipchumba and 228 others took Portland to court seeking to be awarded.

In case No 2119 of 2014, contracted employees argued that there was a wide discrepancy in remuneration between them and their permanent counterparts in the same job position despite a 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between Portland and the workers’ union.

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