In April 2021, the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), in a press statement, surmised Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa’s tenure in a terse statement – as a danger to workers’ rights.
Through its Secretary General, Francis Atwoli, COTU detailed what it termed as a mission to restructure its mode of management while ‘doing away’ with some of its employees, and invited the board to step in to rein in Mr NDegwa.
“Even though, as COTU (K), we don’t have control over the management style employers adopt from time to time, we are highly concerned about the prospects of job security with the implementation of certain management styles,” the presser read.
COTU cited news reports that Mr Peter Ndegwa had “caused a lot of anxiety among its more than 6,000 employees by asking a majority of them to reapply for their current jobs. This new move by the Safaricom CEO, which goes against ILO Conventions particularly on the protection of jobs, is not acceptable and remains an affront to workers’ rights.”
COTU painted as insensitive and inhumane for Mr. Ndegwa to introduce drastic changes at Safaricom, without regard for the workers who’d moulded the company into the giant it is.
“The company is… infringing on the rights of workers who have built Safaricom to what it is today where it enjoys more than 30 million subscribers. It’s also shocking that even though Mr. Ndegwa is the first Kenyan Safaricom CEO, he remains the most dangerous CEO the company has ever had when it comes to protecting workers’ rights,” COTU said.
Amongst its other gripes is that Safaricom has refused several attempts to unionize its workers, and cited a scenario where Mr. Ndegwa, while serving as CEO for Guinness Nigeria PLC, faced off with Unions from West Africa as he forcefully reduced the workforce by nearly 45%.
“We, therefore, demand that Mr. Ndegwa stops forthwith causing anguish, despair and depression among its employees in his mission to maximize profit considering it’s the workers who build the reputation and capacity of a company to realize profits.
COTU asked Mr NDegwa to stop his mischief forthwith, and petitioned the Board of Directors at Safaricom to fire Mr Ndegwa owing to his poor managerial style that seeks to maximize profits at the expense of its employees if he failed to listen. (