Kampala, Uganda | KAARO Karungi | Nine former employees of Kampala Serena Hotel who were reportedly dismissed for staging a strike are seeking a compensation of about 800 million Shillings.
The nine are Mark Kasalita, Nagib Dhakwota, Joel Baganzi, Innocent Kahigwa, Sylvester Kyeeyo, Herizon Baluku, Allan Atuhaire and Martin Ainembabazi. They were previously employed as stewards, waiters, mini bar room attendants, Pastry Cooks, Cleaners, Guest Room and Public area attendants.
But the employees accuse Anthony Chege, the Country Manager of the Hotel and other management officials for subjecting them to poor, unfair, discriminatory and inhumane working conditions during the time of their employment, between 2006 and February 2020, when they were terminated.
The evidence before the court shows that the former employees were required to work and sleep at work for five consecutive days a week before taking a two-day break. However, they were never paid for the breaks, overtime and public holidays. They added that they were subjected to cruelty and discrimination, where their Kenyan counterparts received high wages compared to Ugandans for the same work done.
But when they raised concerns, the Hotel instead chose to terminate their contracts. Their termination was based on alleged insubordination for reportedly disrespecting the House Keeping Department Supervisor Barbara Nampera, and confronting the Hotel Manager at the Hotel lobby in full view of guests and members of the public on January 29 2020.
The termination letters signed by the Human Resource Manager Jude Tumwine indicate that their actions caused disruptions to business, and inconvenienced the guests who were being served at the Front office which amounted to gross misconduct and therefore against the company rules and regulations.
The employees are now saying that due to the poor, illegal and unfair working conditions, they lost employment and should be compensated for unpaid work overtime and work during public holidays. They also want a declaration that there was a breach of statutory provisions of the employment laws.