Over 300 ex-parastal workers who scurried to Yaounde last week
following news by the Minister of Finance, Essimi Menye that their long
awaited social rights were ready for payment were bewildered that they
didn’t have a share in the cake.
Disillusioned, many of them
invaded the Ministry of Finance and that of Labour and Social Security,
blocking the main entrances, thus taking the Ministers and workers
For more than four hours, no worker or head of these
Ministries could go out, urging the Minister of Labour and social
security to broker peace.
The workers brandished placards
requesting to know why the payment of social rights to liquidate state
corporation workers, was selective and discriminatory.
Accordingly, the list of beneficiaries published and posted at the
different payment banks like SCB, BICEC, had many irregularities.
only did many of the ex-workers not find their names on the list, but
also those who had their names had just, according to them, imaginable
paltry amounts as FCFA 25.000.
The ex-workers wondered why they
should be subjected to such continuous maltreatment for over 15 years
in some cases since their companies were liquidated, privatised or
These companies include former Nation Produce
Marketing Board, ONCPB, CAMSUCO, SOPECAM, REGIFECAM, SOTUC, SODECAO,
FONDER, and SODERIM etc.
In some cases, only one or two names from a given structure featured on the list out of over 100-150 expected.
other cases, names appeared with no matricule number and in some cases,
described by the workers as ridiculous; names appeared with no amount
for payment mentioned.
should be recalled that a press release from the Minister of finance at
the beginning of the week, announced that government was paying out
some FCFA 5 billion as social rights to former workers of state
corporations, which had been privatised, restructured or liquidated.
All together, there were about 45 state corporations concerned.
to officials from the Ministry of finance, most of the workers had been
settled in the fist phase of the payments in 2003, thus the claims by
the protesting workers were unfounded.
According to one of the
members of the tripartite committee charged with settling the dues of
the workers, Raymond Yapele, government had already paid the social
rights of workers who showed up for payment last week and could not be
served for a second time, thus were not eligible for any payment.
“The announcement of the Minister of Finance was very clear on who is eligible and who is not”, Yapele clarified.
Labour Minister Holds Crisis Meeting
to calm down the flaring tempers, the Minister of Labour and Social
Security, Robert Nkili held an emergency crisis meeting with some
representatives of the protesting ex-state corporation workers.
to the Minister, his Ministry was not directly concerned with the
payment irregularities but for the sale of social peace and the need to
ensure respect for labour rights, he was intervening to lay to rest the
He called on the protesting workers to compile
a list of their requests and entitlement and hand to him for onward
transmission to the Minister of Finance.
By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame