An employee of a Scottish tea company allegedly tried to run over a Kenyan worker due to a case lodged in court by the worker together with others, a court heard on Friday, November 11.
Andrew Smith KC, an advocate representing the Kenyan worker accused an Aberdeen-based tea firm, of breaching a promise it made to the court earlier in the year.
According to court documents, the Kenyan employee is suing the tea firm for trying to kill him because they were suing the firm for damages over poor working conditions.
A Tea firm in Kenya
CGTN Africa The Kenyan was part of 2,000 workers who sued the company in a class action claiming that the firm did not do enough to prevent them from suffering musculoskeletal injuries.
Smith told the presiding judge Lord Weir in a virtual hearing how one worker was walking along a road when a lorry driven by another employee of the company tried to run him over.
According to the advocate who was acting for a senior lawyer presenting the workers, the man managed to jump clear of the vehicle and landed in some bushes.
“The driver of the lorry approached the man and told him that he was being targeted because he was suing the company” Smith told the court.
According to the workers, the attempt on the Kenyan worker’s life was in breach of an undertaking the tea firm had given to the court not to harass employees who are taking legal action against it.
In a previous case lodged against the company, tea pickers claimed they were routinely asked to work up to 12 hours a day without a break, for six days a week, earning in 2017 an average monthly wage of £100.
Furthermore, the company had been accused of overworking the pickers by asking them to harvest at least 30kgs of tea before being paid anything at all.
Lord Weir had also heard a case involving the company in which pregnant workers accused the company of not being given a maternity leave and having to work in extremely difficult circumstances.
More hearings in the case are expected to be heard both in Scotland and Kenya in the immediate future.
File image of a court gavel harass