Cameroon Workers Forum (Cawof) issued a statement calling on members to start on February 15 a one-month strike. They say they are unsatisfied with the recent minimum wage increase and are demanding a higher raise.
Last month, the government announced it will bring the amount up to CFA41,875 from CFA36,270 previously to help the population navigate the increase in pump fuel prices. After consultations with parties within the National Consultative Commission on Labor (CNCT), the Minister of Labor and Social Security (Mintss), Gregoire Owona, announced on February 8 that "the parties have approved the amount proposed by the government for public servants covered by the Labor Code.”
However, the Cameroon Workers Forum objects to this statement, which it says does not reflect the position of unionists. "The union representatives have never approved the decision (…) as the Mintss press release says," Cawof said.
Points of disagreement
Cawof says the statement by Gregoire Owona violates the provisions of Article 62 of the Labor Code "by stating that there is a minimum wage for government employees covered by the Labor Code, and another for the private sector, all of which are governed by the same Labor Code”. The revaluation proposed by the government only concerns State employees covered by the Labor Code.
Meanwhile, Gregoire Owona mentioned that “the proposals of social partners have been formulated by all workers and employers in the private sector and will be studied and forwarded to the Prime Minister". But the requesters want an identical minimum wage for all workers governed by the Labor Code, whether they are in the public or private sector.
"The Cawof (…) has decided, after bipartite consultation, to abandon the inter-union proposal of a monthly minimum wage of CFA100,000, and to align with the proposal of a minimum wage of CFA60,000. The decision is supported by two employers' organizations, namely Gicam and Ecam," the Forum wrote.
The one-month strike launched by Cawof, which should result in "a systematic work stoppage every Monday in the public service and private companies, all sectors combined", is a means of pressure to force the government to accept the demand.