Wasoko’s plan to layoff members of its staff is blocked by court. Just not long ago, both Wasoko and MaxAB agreed to cut their workforce by a significant number. And in this post I will be updating you on further development of the said news.
Wasoko’s Plan to Layoff Members of Its Staff
In January 2024, the Kenyan eCommerce startup Wasoko and the Egyptian enterprise MaxAB revealed intentions to lay off approximately 10% of their joint workforce of 4,000 employees. This announcement followed their December 2023 disclosure about potential merger talks aimed at reaching 65 million customers across eight African markets.
However, by February 2024, Wasoko faced a significant hurdle. A Kenyan court intervened, halting the company’s plans to terminate nine of its employees, thereby complicating its merger process with MaxAB.
Number of Employees Set To Be Laid Off
These nine employees, involved in the distribution of fast-moving consumer goods, have raised objections, arguing that Wasoko failed to engage in meaningful dialogue or explore alternative solutions before deciding to cut jobs. They criticized the company for vaguely citing a “change in business environment” and “reorganisation” as reasons, without providing concrete evidence or attempting to redeploy them within the company.
On January 31, Justice Nzioki wa Makau sided with the employees, issuing temporary orders to pause their layoffs. This decision was extended on February 5, with a full hearing scheduled for February 13 to delve into the legal intricacies of the case.
Wasoko’s Reaction to the Development
Wasoko, however, contends that the legal challenge lacks merit, insisting that the court’s intervention was premature. The company maintains that it adhered to all legal requirements and presented alternative options to the affected employees, which were ultimately unfeasible.
Represented by MW & Company Advocates, Wasoko argues that the court action is unjustified as the employees have yet to demonstrate that they would suffer irreparable damage from the layoffs. In essence, Wasoko’s stance is that it has followed all legal procedures to the letter, viewing the case as effectively resolved.
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