Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has bashed telecoms firm, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa over planned summary dismissal of 6,000 employees and media manipulation through advertising to irregularly control public messaging about the company.
While speaking during the ongoing televised Labour Day celebrations at State House, Atwoli sought President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government intervention to ensure all public listed firms uphold the best practices and workers’ social welfare.
Atwoli further asked the Fourth Estate to exercise patriotism for the well-being of her citizens’ welfare devoid of manipulation by multinationals and other local firms through advertising.
“There is something I want your government to assist us. And I want also the press to be a bit patriotic which is before us here. Don’t say when somebody issues a statement concerning a particular company and you move fast to ask that company to advertise with your newspapers so that you can kill that story and sometimes this story is geared towards protecting your rights.”
He added: “We have a young man and we admired him our own Kenyan when he took over Safaricom. He is a man who is very much experienced he came up with a very good programme to spur that company to very high heights but there are areas he must be told those areas are not good. You cannot ask in-serving officers to re-apply when you are making changes. You can only shortlist them, you can evaluate them, if they are not fir to be with your system you kindly ask them to retire and they go home. But when you ask the whole lot who have built a firm like Safaricom to reapply you cause despair to the families, stress which ends into depression. He must be advised and he must be advised.” Atwoli said.
Previously, Atwoli termed Ndengwa as the most dangerous CEO Safaricom has ever had and threatened to appeal to the Board of Directors at Safaricom PLC to have Ndegwa be relieved of duty if he goes ahead and cuts the telcos’ labour force.
“It has come to our attention that Safaricom PLC is on a mission to restructure its mode of management whilst at the same time doing away with some of its employees. Even though, as COTU (K), we don’t have control over the management style employers adopt from time to time, we are highly concerned about the prospects of job security with the implementation of certain management styles,” said Atwoli.
The profit making firm plans to retrench Kenyans in mass as it eyes Ethiopian market.