Shield Del Monte from possible ruin, State urged

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 10:30 | By
Del Monte shops. PHOTO/Courtesy
Del Monte shops. PHOTO/Courtesy

The government has been urged to protect Del Monte Food Company from possible extinction as a result of dwindling farm land.

Trade unionists, members of Federation of Kenya Employers and the company management expressed concern that the firm’s land is under threat of disappearing following the recent ceding of huge portions to the counties of Murang’a and Kiambu. The multinational fruit juice processor has already ceded some 1,400 acres and 700 acres to Murang’a and Kiambu counties respectively according to the company’s outgoing managing director Stergios Gkaliamoutsas.

But Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) board member Boniface Kavuvi noted that thousands of workers who are either directly or indirectly employed by Del Monte will be rendered jobless amid the unemployment crisis in the country. 

Bargaining agreements

He spoke during the signing of collective bargaining agreements between Del Monte Ltd, Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW) and Kenya Plantation and Allied Workers Union (KPAWU) yesterday. The largest exporter of Kenyan products, which moves 5,000 containers yearly through the Mombasa port has 6,500 directly employed workers and another 28,000 who are indirectly employed by the company. 

“We are urging the government to safeguard the interest of the thousands of workers employed here and who are at the verge of being laid off due to the shrinking land of Delmonte that has continued to affect their production,” Kavuvi said. Thomas Kipkemboi, the Deputy Secretary General KPAWU said the country stands to lose heavily should Del Monte go under.

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