As workers marked Workers’ Day on May 1, the celebrations in anglophone Cameroon was marked with a massive boycott.
Many workers in anglophone Cameroon reportedly boycotted the usual march past event stating that they are protesting against poor working conditions characterised by non-payment of salaries and pensions. Meanwhile others who observed the boycott say they were simply respecting the call from the outlawed Anglophone consortium.
Eyewitness account from Bamenda and Buea, chief town of the North West and South west regions respectively, report scenes of almost deserted ceremonial grounds but for a handful of civil servants gathering and CPDM elites.
According to the workers, the deploring socio political situation of the country, the non-payment of salary to a large number of workers and pensioners over the years, has destroyed the civil service and the workforce of the country. They expressed concerns over the increasing hardship being faced by workers and pensioners affected by outcome of the crisis. They also decried government’s stiff move in resolving the ongoing crisis which has grounded socio political activities in the regions.
In his reaction to the complaints, Gregoire Owona, minister of labour and social security, highlighted the importance of social dialogue as prerequisite for a smooth working environment. He explained that the government is doing everything possible to reform the civil service for optimum performance. For his part, President Biya in his message to workers said Cameroon is a politically stable country. To him the business climate has improved even though much still needs to be done.
The government declared May 1 as public holiday in line with the United Nations decision that the day be set aside every year to celebrate and appreciate workers worldwide.