Portland restructuring continues with layoff of 150 employees

Bags of cement Portland
Bags of cement. PHOTO/COURTESY

East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) has retrenched 150 employees as part of an ongoing restructuring process which began in June 2019 with the firing of 250 employees.

“The bottom-line is to get a lean workforce at a reduced cost of labour. We are not turning back. We prioritised top management and we have handled about 150 people, so far. What we are doing is to pick a particular category of staff and give them redundancy notices of one month, which is specific to them,” EAPCC Acting Managing Director Stephen Nthei said in a statement.

The dismissed employees are then subjected to a suitability assessment to evaluate whether they qualify for the recalibrated jobs. This will see an unspecified number of workers exit given the management is favouring a workforce of not more than 600.

In August 2019, the cement company announced that it will begin hiring employees on contractual terms only as it looks to lower its wage bill and maintain 600 of its 1,000 employees. Portland’s Acting Managing Director Stephen Nthei said then that all jobs will be reviewed and employees will be allowed to reapply, but only on contract terms.

“At the end of the process, the current employees will apply for newly configured jobs as will be defined in the new structure on a contractual basis,” a press statement from Portland Cement read then.

East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) registered a loss of Ksh. 1.6 billion from the sale of its land holdings in the year ended June up from a loss of Ksh. 302.2 million made in the previous year according to a report by auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The transaction included the sale of 900 acres of land to the Kenya Railways Corporation and 337 acres to real estate developer Superior Homes.

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