Kenya: Bidco-04/Thika

Date Filed
23 May 2017

Case Tracker

Dispute Resolution
Status as of March 04, 2021
Monitoring (COMPLIANCE)
Status as of March 04, 2021

Complaint Overview


A group of Bidco’s former workers.


Unfair dismissal, payment of employment benefits, rights of casual workers.

Cross-Cutting Issues
Labor Community Health and Safety Children Women Violence / Abuse Loss of Life Loss of Livelihoods

Project Information

Name & Number
Bidco Bev & Det 33385
Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services

US$23 million A loan and up to $13.5 million B loa


Project Overview

IFC provided a loan of up to $36.5 million to Bidco Africa, a major Kenyan manufacturer and distributor of consumer goods, to support its $46 million expansion project. The loan funded the construction and operation of new facilities in Kenya to increase production capacity. Bidco prepaid the loan in October 2023, concluding its active relationship with IFC.


In May 2017, CAO received a complaint submitted by former employee of Bidco Oil Refineries Limited, claiming to represent more than 480 other former employees, citing labor issues such as unfair termination and retaliation, poor working conditions, and preventing their inscription in a trade union, the workers also claimed to work under poor conditions while employed at the client's facilities.

CAO Action

In July 2017, CAO found the complaint eligible and conducted an assessment. During the assessment, the company expressed willingness to engage the complainants in a dialogue process facilitated by CAO. However, the complainants could not agree among themselves on how to engage the CAO. In accordance with CAO Operational Guidelines, CAO transferred the case to its Compliance function for appraisal.

In March 2018, CAO merged this case with an earlier complaint, received in June 2016 (Kenya: Bidco Bev. & Det.-01/Thika)

In October 2018, CAO completed its Investigation Report related to the Bidco 01 & 04 complaints, with the following findings:

i) Terms of employment and termination of casual workers: CAO finds that IFC’s review and supervision were insufficient to ensure the client's employment policies for casual workers complied with national law. Specifically, IFC did not ensure that termination payments to former casual workers met Kenyan legal requirements.

ii) Occupational health and safety conditions: Although the client’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) conditions are better than many other factories in Kenya, CAO finds that IFC lacks assurance that the client’s OHS performance meets IFC's "good international industry practice" standards.

iii) Union recognition: CAO finds no compliance issue from IFC’s perspective because a 2012 union recognition agreement, upheld by Kenyan courts, remains in force.

iv) Grievance procedure, discrimination, and retaliation: CAO notes shortcomings in the client's grievance procedures, which IFC has identified and requested corrective actions for. Further IFC supervision is needed to ensure compliance with non-retaliation and anti-discrimination requirements.

In December 2018, IFC provided a response to the CAO investigation report and proposed a series of actions in response to CAO’s findings at the project and systemic level.

At the project level, IFC committed to:

  1. Require the client to submit quarterly and detailed labor reports, as well as inform IFC about the resolution of pending labor cases, and have the client commission a labor audit.
  2. IFC’s supervision would review Bidco’s human resources practices, support the client in following good international industry practice for OHS, and focus on the implementation and effectiveness of non-discrimination policies and procedures, given the multiple ethnicities of staff at different levels within Bidco.
  3. IFC would also continue to engage with the client on the management and effectiveness of its worker grievance mechanism.

At the systemic level, IFC committed to improve how project teams identify labor issues during pre-investment E&S due diligence (ESDD) by updating its Labor Handbook, revising its Environmental and Social Review Procedures (ESRP), providing staff training, retaining a specialist labor consultant to help IFC E&S staff on projects with high-risk labor issues, and assigning an OHS Lead from among its E&S specialists to act as a resource on OHS matters across IFC projects.

CAO Monitoring Reports

In May 2024, CAO released its second Omnibus Monitoring Report, which encompassed eight cases under monitoring with the CAO compliance function and included the first Monitoring Report for Bidco-01 and Bidco-04 cases. CAO examined the actions carried out by IFC since the disclosure of the investigation report.

CAO determined that, while some of IFC’s commitments would benefit from further supervision, the monitoring for all project-level actions would be closed because there is no reasonable expectation of any further action from IFC given the client's prepayment in October 2023. Regarding the systemic actions, the CAO found some IFC commitments were fulfilled while others were still pending completion. The case remains open for monitoring of systemic-level actions.

CAO’s Omnibus Monitoring Report which includes the second monitoring report for this case, is available in English.



This case is open in compliance monitoring.

Status as of June 07, 2024.

Case Documents

  • Complaint
    Letter of complaint
    May 02, 2017
    Letter of complaint
    Assessment Report
    Assessment Report
    Nov 01, 2018
    Assessment Report
    IFC's Response to CAO's Assessment Report
    Nov 28, 2018
    IFC's Response to CAO's Assessment Report
  • Compliance

    Appraisal Report
    Compliance Appraisal Report
    Mar 06, 2018
    Compliance Appraisal Report
    Investigation Report
    Investigation Report
    Oct 02, 2018
    Investigation Report
    IFC Response to Investigation Report
    Dec 17, 2018
    IFC Response to Investigation Report
    Omnibus Monitoring Report (First Monitoring Report)
    May 30, 2024
    Omnibus Monitoring Report (First Monitoring Report)
  • Mailchimp Survey


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