Directors of retail chain Choppies have been ordered to appear in person in court next month in a hearing relating to dues owed to the company’s former employees.
The decisions come as the supermarket’s plans to downsize its operations in Kenya gets underway.
The employment and Labour Relations Court in an order dated December 20, directed directors Pain Bharatkumar Patel, Ashwin Kshemendran and Mithuni Chulliparambil Gopalakrishnan to appear before the court to answer to a case the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers Union filed on behalf of the employees.
“You are hereby required to personally appear before this court on the 27th day of January 2020 at Employment and Labour Relations Court at 9am and to bring with you all the documents in your possession relating to this case and so from day to day until your presence is dispensed by the court,” said the court in a summon order signed by deputy registrar.
The union is demanding that Choppies clears benefits it owes 543 employees all served with redundancy notices amounting to Sh28.6 million and other benefits. It is also demanding that Choppies honours the clauses of a collective bargaining agreement it signed in September 2017. The retailer is currently left with about 233 staff after letting others go amid shrinking of its operations locally.
The union, while demanding that Choppies pays the employees redundancy benefits, said it did not oppose the closure of the retailer locally.
Earlier in December, Choppies announced plans to sell six of its 15 stores as it struggles to grow market share in Kenya’s increasingly competitive retail market and amid rising operational cost.