No to Boko Haram, Yes to Social Dialogue

Representative of trade unions on May 1st, called for better working conditions for all class of workers in the country.

Confederation of workers’ trade unions in Cameroon on Friday May 1st at the 20th May Boulevard in Yaounde united their voices against the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram which has killed many people in the Far North Region of the country. This was before a grand march-past to commemorate the 129th International Labour Day on the theme “Building Cameroon’s Future in Peace, Solidarity and Decent Work”.

The President of the Confederation of Cameroon Workers Syndicate (CSTC), Jean Pierre Zambo Amougou and a member of the Coordination of the World Federation of Trade Union of Francophone Africa (UGTC) Isaac Bissala, took to the rostrum and lamented over the war against terrorism which is taking different dimensions with individuals using it for their own selfish purposes. Isaac Bissala said with the current threats of war, there is need for love amongst Cameroonians as well as social justice and dialogue. He further went on to decry the difficulties faced by workers at their various work places as well as the inequality in salaries.

With recurrent complaints on the violation of the fundamental rights of workers, Isaac Bissala and his colleague from the Confederation of Cameroon Workers Syndicate stressed the need for the government to improve social security rights to all workers no matter their status. They also aocated for the harmonising of retirement age for all workers be they civil servants or otherwise. Jean Pierre Zambo said it is a shared responsibility for partners and the State to join and contribute to the eradication of poverty reason why to him, there was need for the public and private sectors to work towards a partnership that will help solve some negativities found in work places such as child labour, low salaries and an improved insurance scheme to all classes of workers. While focusing on the need to decent work as a factor to eliminate poverty in the country, the trade unionist said politics should not be used as a tool for employment but that political and social justice should be uplifted at all work places.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Gregoire Owona said celebrations were taking place within a difficult context as the country is faced in a war against Boko Haram. While admitting that government has taken note of the wishes of trade unionists, Gregoire Owona told workers representatives that the problems in the labour milieu are many and the State is in a constant search for durable and effective solutions. That is why he said his ministry will continue to intensify social dialogue at all levels while hoping that trade unions will continue to be responsible and open to dialogue and closed to violence.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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