Some 150 workers of the Rubber and Banana sectors of the Cameroon Development Corporation -CDC have made a peaceful protest in Tiko yesterday October 13, 2020.
Their reason for the strike action was in demand of their 18 months unpaid salaries owed by the management of the of CDC.
According to reports reaching CNA, these workers have not been working for some months before now due to the current political unrest in the 2 English Speaking regions of the country.
Before they stopped working, they were paid under “Force Majeure.” Force Majeure is a contract provision that allows a party to suspend or terminate the performance of its obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, making performance inadvisable, commercially impracticable, illegal, or impossible. In this case, the CDC management was paying workers 50% of their salaries due to the problems caused by the political unrest.
According to one of the protesters who is a father of 4, he is protesting to demand for his salary because his children have not started school since he cannot afford their fees and other didactic materials.
These peaceful protesters matched from the Banana Group’s office in Likomba with peace plants in their hands to the Divisional Officer’s office and were accompanied by security personnel.
Unfortunately for them, the D.O was not in the office to receive them. However, they have promised to match again until the D.O intervenes.
The top management of CDC had calculated these workers’ salaries and given them sheets to sign months ago. So, they were hoping to have received some payments by now but the frustration comes after they heard nothing about payments.
Their main worry is their childrens’ fees and school items which they are unable to cater for.
These workers are asking for 4 to 5 months of their salaries to sponsor their children.
Buea Council Staff Strike
In the same vein, CNA learned some workers at the Buea Council also staged another strike action yesterday for the same reason, unpaid salaries.
In Buea, CNA learned the striking workers sealed the council gate and vowed no one will enter or go out until the mayor, Mafany Namange pays their 11 months salary.
These same workers organised another strike 2 months ago (August) and received no positive response. One of them during an interview yesterday said when they protested in August for their 9 months salaries to be paid, the Mayor told them he didn’t recognise them as council staff. However, they were asked to bring documents probjbg they worked for the council which they brought.
They were then promised their salaries in the months ahead which till now they haven’t received.
“We have met the 3rd Deputy Mayor today and he told us the Mayor was not around and he was not answering his calls. He also they said they were arranging files, whatever that meant.
“Either they pay our salaries or we remain here. We are council workers and we deserve our pay.
We have had meetings with the administration and written many letters. After a meeting with the DO, he asked us to come to the council today.
Some of our unpaid colleague’s are very ill, they can’t walk, some of us have rents to pay and children to send to school, so we need our salaries.he explained.
From follow up reports, the council gate was later opened by the military and the workers went home without any pay.
CNA spoke with the Communication Department of the council and we confirmed everywhere was calm.