Country Risk

Protracted negotiations during agricultural workers’ strike increases risk of arson and vandalism against Kenyan tea plantations

03 November 2017


Tea producer Finlays reported on 31 October that tea bushes at Kaproret estate in Bomet county, Kenya, were destroyed by an arson attack.

The incident occurred during indefinite labour strikes initiated on 17 October by the Kenyan Plantation and Agricultural Workers’ Union (KPAWU), which represents 17,000 plantation workers. Damages resulting from the arson amounted to USD59,000, while business disruption owing to the strike action currently amount to USD2.9 million. The strike commenced after the deadline for enforcing a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired. The CBA was originally issued by court order in 2015 and required tea producers represented by the Kenyan Tea Growers’ Association (KTGA) to increase wages by least 30% and limit retrenchment resulting from the planned rationalisation of production methods.

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