This is the kernel of a tripartite meeting held in Yaounde Tuesday, February 2, 2021, between the government, the CDC management, and trade union leaders.
CAAWOTU had declared a Collective Labor Dispute from Tuesday, February 2 to Friday, February 5, 2021, in all CDC Estates, Factories, Mills, and Establishments to voice out the grievances of workers, especially those who have not had pay for close to 30 months.
Tuesday’s tripartite came to foil the workers’ strike that would have paralyzed operations of the Corporation, which is a victim of the crisis in the North West and South West Regions as well as the novel coronavirus.
The working session chaired by the Minister of Labor and Social Security in the Conference Hall of his was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and those of the Ministry of Finance, the CDC General Manager, and leaders of Trade Unions in the CDC.
“The discussion focused on concerns raised by Trade union Leaders and particularly by the Cameroon Agricultural and Allied Workers Trade Union (CAAWOTU) contained in their correspondence dated 12 th January 2021, and on the avenues to arrive at solutions to the crisis,” Labor Minister Gregoire Owona said in a press release co-signed by eight others.
The CDC has about twenty thousand contracts of employment and a related monthly wage bill of about FCFA 2.5 billion.
Considering the fact that the Anglophone crisis has adversely affected production activities in many of the estates and industrial units, the corporation has been unable to pay wages.
Gabriel Mbene Vefonge, President of CAAWOTU regrets that some workers have gone for about 30 months without salary.
“Since the start of 2018, some 20 workers have been murdered in their line of duty while others have had their hands or fingers chopped off with machetes. Workers have not received their monthly salaries for close to 30 months and over 10,000 workers have been placed on technical leave, not leaving out retired workers who are yet to receive their retirement benefits, “Mbene said.
In a bid to ensure social peace reigns and for economic revival to be restored in CDC establishments, the government pledged to support the CDC management in the payment of monthly wages as well as arrears.
“Following the discussion, the Government pledged to support the CDC Management in the payment of wages and the monthly payment of arrears in the days ahead,” Minister Gregoire Owona said. “In addition, the security issue will be looked into by competent administrations.”
A working session to assess the situation will take place in three months, the Labor Minister promised.
Unionists have welcomed the Yaounde meeting, hoping that government will fulfill her promises. The trade union leaders have asked workers to put in their best to make sure the CDC returns to its glory days.
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