The owner of Jumbo Mattresses located along Kisumu-Ahero road is under fire for allegedly practicing slavery that has now attracted the attention of the locals now planning a major demonstration against the management of the firm.
Workers at the troubled company are up in arms over what they describe as pure mistreatment at the company and crooked labour officials who have been pocketed to remain silent as the Indian unleash terror with impunity.
Inside sources who spoke to Weekly Citizen shared a similar sad story of poor working condition and payment drama.
The irate workers have singled out the Asian in charge of human resources, as a brutally heartless individual who treats employees as dogs by sometimes refusing to pay them after long hours of tedious work.
Employees have teamed up with the locals in agitating for the reversal of the situation and have given an ultimatum to the area politicians to intervene in the matter.
Blaming the politicians for maintaining silence over their sufferings, workers who are now coordinating with area residents have vowed to paralyse operations at the company should concern the management fail to address their ordeal as a matter of urgency.
Investigations revealed that the operations at the Jumbo Foam Mattress are chaotic and employees are always subjected into performing more duties different from what initial job definition in the employment contract.
The management has perfected what is called piece rate under which employees are only paid per work done, regardless whether one is on permanent contract.
Take for example the sad case of drivers and turn boys who are duped into signing contract with the company only to be mistreated despite some covering long distance journey as far as Mombasa.
We are informed that drivers transporting goods to Mombasa are ever at pains surviving on a paltry Sh1050, which is supposed to cater for their lunch, breakfast, dinner and accommodation during the trip.
Turnboys are the worst hit given that they are only paid Sh300 stipend since they are expected to sleep in the lorry cabin during the entire journey and in most cases have to brave hunger until they report back to the company and eat at their houses.
A driver said that even after going through all that punishment in the name of transporting goods to Mombasa, you will be expected to immediately embark on another trip to the very destination.
It is against this background that the affected drivers are championing for the attention of the National Transport and Safety Authority to quickly investigate the matter, since it is a time bomb with potential deadly road carnage.
Permanently fatigued drivers working with the Jumbo Foam Mattresses are notoriously known on the major busy highways in the country and can be easily identified while on the road, given that their employer has never cared to observe regulations in place for all commercial truck drivers ensuring they are not being overworked.
The employment contracts always come in verbal form and once you are engaged with the firm, some of the strange things that a driver will be subjected to also includes what is described as fuel recovery.
This is monitored in kilometres and variation in fuel consumption is deducted from driver’s salary irrespective of whether the vehicle was covering offroad which ordinarily consumes more fuel compared to a vehicle covering tarmac road.
Most heartbreaking is to see women toiling in harsh working condition but hardly make Sh150 a day as they are only paid Sh3 per one block of mattress that they sew and it would be a miracle for one to sew up to 50 blocks of mattresses in a single day.