Tears After Global Apparel Fires Over 2,000 Employees

By Getrude Mathayo / Published January 6, 2022 | 12:01 pm




KEY POINTS

"We are usually sexually harassed by senior managers," said one of the employees.


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KEY TAKEAWAYS


  • 2,000 workers at the Global Apparel company were fired while on a New Year break.
  • They reported to work only to find the gates locked and their contracts terminated without their knowledge.

More than 2,000 workers at the Global Apparel company conducted a peaceful demonstration outside the factory chanting anti-management songs after they were denied entry into the firm.

The workers reported back to work on Wednesday, January 5, only to find the gates locked and their contracts terminated without their knowledge.

According to employees who spoke to the press, the company management directed them to reapply for their respective jobs between January 4 and 6.

The workers stated that they were taken aback by the decision as they chanted slogans against the management at the apparel company.

“All the Global Apparel EPZ Ltd workers are hereby requested to submit their handwritten applications in the usual format indicating line No/section/department to enable us to process the application and inform you on the joining date,” read a mem

The employees who were locked out of the company accused the management of violating their rights. Some told journalists that they had worked at EPZ for 5 years.

“We reported ready for work but we were turned away. How can you be forced to re-apply for a job that you have been doing for the last five years? This amounts to a violation of our rights and a ploy to deny us our dues,” said John Makori, a worker.

Unlike other companies within the zone where workers renew contracts annually, Global Apparel management has instead been compelling its staff to renew contracts every three months.

Further, the employees revealed that they had been forced to renew their contracts every three months by the management.

The workers claimed the employer has also failed to pay them accruing benefits including collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and leave days.

Police were also forced to intervene after workers detained a human resources manager and senior officer for more than four hours.

The workers also accused some senior managers of demanding bribes to offer employment. “We are usually sexually harassed by senior managers,” said one of the employees.

In 2021, companies operating in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) hired 7,477 new workers in the financial year ended June on relaxed disruptions that boosted demand in export markets.






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