The fall of Tuskys Supermarket seems determined and set. It seems there is no turning back. The retailer is shutting down one branch after another.
Tuskys supermarket has now shut down its oldest branch in Nakuru town. Tens of staff attached to the branch located along Pundit Nehru Road protested the closure demanding their unpaid salaries and arrears since April.
Over 70 workers employed on a contractual basis were issued with termination letters since October 31, 2020, with those on a permanent basis ordered to remain home awaiting further direction.
The workers say the issuance of termination letters caught them off guard at a time when many of them had sacrificed to keep going to work despite the delay in salaries.
The workers alleged that the company had slapped them with a 20 percent pay cut since April as a way of remaining afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The company reportedly withheld their full salaries in July after they contested the decision.
As the permanent employees were being served with a verbal notice, those outsourced through an agency were served with a written notice indicating that their contracts were summarily terminated. Workers now want the retailer to remit their salaries before dismissal.
In August, a Mauritius financier came to the rescue of Tuskys Supermarket pledging a 2 billion shillings bailout but the company continues to struggle with unpaid salaries and poorly stocked outlets.
The abrupt closure of Tuskys Magic branch, one of the pioneer branches of Tuskys Supermarket, is another blow for the retailer that has been battling a barrage of lawsuits and auction demands owing to its weekend financial position.
Kenyatta Avenue branch was on the verge of being auctioned in July over rent arrears with the auctioneers closing its basement which stocks priced electronics.
The directives to move the items to the sister branch was however met with resistances as workers locked themselves inside the supermarket demanding their unpaid salaries and arrears.
Last week, the retailer, which has faced headwinds in recent times, mainly supplier debt in the wake of reduced business on Covid-19 effects on the economy, said will start meeting with Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) suppliers on Wednesday 4th.