(Business in Cameroon) - On July 5, 2018, the staff of Cameroon Postal Services (Campost), via its representation at Cameroon’s workers union Union générale des travailleurs du Cameroun (UGTC), sent a new strike notice (the third within seven months) to the prime minister Philémon Yang to inform him of the strike they are planning for August 23, 2018.
“Till date, none of the agreements and promises made by representatives of the various administrations as well as the director general have been respected”, the syndicate wrote. The promises it refers to are those taken during the negotiations following the strike notice they sent to the government in April 2018. These negotiations led to the postponement of the strike to June 30, 2018.
Among the promises which appeased the workers is the government’s promise to provide CFA200 million to the company latest April. This fund should help pay the remainder of the salaries frozen after a decrease of the pay grid that the employees contested.
There is also the promise to start paying the government’s debt towards Campost as well as the payment of all the amount owed to the retired workers and the staff (duties such as leave pay and respite expenses since 2016).
Let’s note that even though the CFA200 million promised by government have not been paid till now ( three months after the deadline announced), authorized sources reveals that the postal services’ general director used the company’s funds to pay the debt owed to the workers ( the main point of the strike notice sent in April 2018).
Internal sources at the company reveal that in the last three months, the director disbursed CFA350 million to pay the remainder of those frozen salaries, the leave pays for 2015 and 2016, the arrears of the respite expenses, the health care premium and the dues of every retired worker whose file is up to date.
This information are against the syndicate’s complaints which, omitting the internal measures taken by the director, inform that none of the promises have been kept. Due to that, some sources close to the case think strike notice is the syndicalists’ manoeuvre in the framework of the sensitive period of the coming presidential election of October 7, 2018.
Let’s remind that, wrestling with financial difficulties since 2003, Cameroon’s public postal service is supporting charges that are more than twice its turnover, according to a report of the interministerial committee set for the company’s recovery.
The same document reveals that in 2014, the debt of Campost, which requests the payment of a debt of about CFA40 billion from the government, was over CFA100 billion.