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Simba Apparrel EPZ workshop in Changamwe abandoned after workers went on strike. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

An apparel firm in Changamwe has closed down and dismissed 2,000 workers who have been on strike for the last seven days over wrangles involving their union leadership.

On Sunday, Simba Apparel (EPZ) said the decision to close down the factory was arrived at after the firm recorded Sh20 million loss due to its failure to export 100,000 garments to the US.
“We decided to shut down the factory because the workers have refused to honour two return-to-work agreements we signed with their representatives,” the firm said in a statement.
The firm’s management said the workers had been staging an illegal strike since September 9, following an internal fight between two shop stewards.
SEE ALSO :Apparel firm offering 3,000 jobs eyes January operationsJoseph Nyaga, an assistant labour commissioner in Mombasa, and who has been spearheading reconciliation efforts, said he would issue a statement on the standoff tomorrow.
The Apparel firm claimed the infighting in the union was being fueled by local politicians who wanted its leadership to be from certain communities.
Simba Apparel EPZ said the management invited county and national labour officials of Tailors and Textile Workers Union but failed to resolve the issue.
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According to the latest return-to-work agreement seen by The Standard, the workers were supposed to resume work on September 13, but did not.
The firm said the employees had refused to honour the agreement and continued to stage the strike thereby paralysing production and occasioning huge losses to the company.
SEE ALSO :Riddle of jobs boom in export zones amid gloom in economy“Since the illegal strike started, the management has lost a total of Sh20 million. We would have produced 100,000 and exported to the USA,” stated the statement.
Simba Apparel EPZ, which has operated in the country for 26 years, has two units. The management said only the unit based in Changamwe was affected.

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