Wasoko, a Kenyan e-commerce platform, didn’t share its merger plans with Egypt’s MaxAB with workers for over six months, fearing that leaks may scuttle the transaction, two former workers advised TechCabal. The merger is predicted to be accomplished by the tip of March 2024.
The B2B e-commerce startup, which was based in 2013 and raised over $140 million from buyers like 4DX Ventures and Avenir Progress Capital, first advised workers in regards to the merger in a video name attended by the MaxAB executives in early December 2023, the identical month the deal was introduced.
The assembly, which was not recorded, shocked many workers, though some had figured on the market have been plans for a merger and eventual redundancies. On January 15, Wasoko laid off over 100 employees throughout engineering, product, and enterprise intelligence departments in Kenya and India.
Following the layoffs, 9 workers sued Wasoko, claiming they have been unfairly fired. They argued the corporate didn’t give them ample time to organize for his or her exit and that whereas Wasoko stated it might observe native labour legal guidelines through the layoffs, it was a method out of paying them ample severance.
The severance bundle compensated workers primarily based on how lengthy they’d labored with the corporate, what number of go away days they’d accrued, and the variety of days left earlier than their January fifteenth exit. The previous workers advised a court docket that the severance bundle favoured those that had been with Wasoko for an prolonged interval.
The court docket has blocked Wasoko from firing the 9 workers.
Different workers stated they’d taken financial institution loans, believing their work with the e-commerce platform was safe. Wasoko stated it might focus on the matter with its banker, Commonplace Chartered, and ease reimbursement for six months, stated one former worker. It additionally promised to supply medical insurance protection till March 2024.
“We initiated discover of intention to declare redundancies for a portion of our employees on December 5, 2023 as beforehand introduced.” Wasoko stated in an announcement to TechCabal. “Impacted workers have been supplied with the legally mandated interval of discover and are receiving the required severance packages as stipulated by relevant employment regulation.”
Nonetheless, the corporate declined to touch upon particular claims for the reason that matter is already in court docket.
Following the lawsuit, Wasoko has ready an exit doc barring workers from suing the corporate after receiving their exit packages, one particular person advised TechCabal.
The case might be heard in court docket on February thirteenth.