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Over 200 ex-Unilever workers sue firm in UK

Over 200 Kenyans have sued their former employer, Unilever, at the Supreme Court in London seeking compensation over the 2007/08 post election violence.

They claim the United Kingdom-based  corporate giant failed to protect them from the foreseeable risk of ethnic violence at its tea plantations in parts of the Rift Valley in 2007/08.

Law firm Leigh Day represents 218 claimants who were victims of the violence, including the families of seven people who were brutally killed, 56 women who were raped and  others who were subjected to physical attacks.

Attack workers

Large groups of attackers invaded Unilever’s Tea Plantation in Kericho—which has an estimated residential population of over 100,000—attacking workers who were not indigenous to the area.

 Lawyers from Leigh Day who are acting on behalf of the workers contend that Unilever placed their workers in a position of serious risk because most were from tribes that are not indigenous to the area. 

 Daniel Leader (pictured), solicitor from Leigh Day, said: “This was the biggest risk to the largest concentration of Unilever workers anywhere in the world.   The victims are clear that they warned managers about the threats they faced and yet Unilever failed to take measures to protect them, although they protected management housing.”

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