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Cameroon Workers' Forum Issues General Strike Call for April 10th

Cameroon Workers' Forum Issues General Strike Call for April 10th

Paru le jeudi, 14 mars 2024 15:21

Labor unions under the banner of the Cameroon Workers' Forum (Cawof) have signed a call for a general strike by Cameroonian workers in all sectors of activity. The strike is scheduled to begin on April 10th. With that strike, Cawof members hope to achieve a 30% increase in public sector salaries, as well as an increase in the minimum wage to XAF100,000 per month in all public and private sectors.

In addition to these two main demands, Cawof also hopes to obtain from the government the payment of severance packages to employees laid off from public and semi-public companies, as well as a 40% increase in old-age pensions in all sectors. To achieve this, Cawof hopes to engage in immediate negotiations with the government for the implementation of all these demands.

While waiting for the strike to begin, Cawof is preparing the ground. A meeting between Jean-Marc Bikoko (photo), president of the platform, and teachers' unions is announced for this week. Cawof also wants to force the government to lift all sanctions imposed on certain teachers who responded to a strike call issued by the On a trop supporté (OTS) collective a few months ago. The trade union’s demand for the signing of the special teacher status and for the organization of the National Education Forum (FNE) promised by the government will also be on the agenda of this meeting.

Modus operandi

The modus operandi chosen by the Cawof remains to be seen. Jean-Marc Bikoko and his peers are expected to make a decision on this issue in the coming weeks.

The call for a strike is the consequence of the increase in fuel prices. On February 8, the Cawof sent a letter to the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Grégoire Owona, to request a suspension of this increase pending the adoption of social support measures, which were to be discussed between the government and the 12 unions pertaining to the Cawof platform. But given the Minister’s lack of response, Cawof decided to go on a general strike, as confirmed by Benoît Essiga, the focal point of this union platform.

On February 21, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, signed two decrees increasing family allowances and salaries for civil servants. In a first decree, the Head of State increased "to XAF4,500 per dependent child per month" the family allowances paid to workers by the National Social Security Fund and the Ministry of Finance. This represents an over 60% increase in family allowances compared to the 2800 previously paid. The second presidential decree increased "the basic monthly remuneration of civilian and military personnel by 5%." For the government, these measures, taken three weeks after the increase in fuel prices, are supposed to mitigate the consequences for the population.

Michel Ange Nga

Dernière modification le jeudi, 14 mars 2024 15:23

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