The Minister of Labour and Social Security has disbursed the sum of FCFA 6,800,000 to pay off some 27 ex-workers of the Cameroon Tea Estate (CTE) who have been demanding these dues for six years now. On November 5, 2012, the ex-workers gathered at the premises of the Regional Delegation of Labour and Social Security in Buea to receive their dues. The ex-workers have been owed these dues since 2006 by the then Cameroon Development Corporation whose estates have now been transformed to the CTE.
Prior to the payment, the ex-workers came up with nine articles. "Each article explained our grievances and demands," Bate Atem, spokesperson of the ex-workers told CT. "Seven of the articles have been satisfactorily addressed, but for two which were still pending. Article seven stated that the balance of the 27 ex-workers, who are now receiving their dues, was wrongly calculated, while article nine concerns 737 ex- workers who were owed good severance benefits." The spokesman of the ex-workers expressed satisfaction that the government has started keeping its promise. He sounded upbeat that with the current pace government could pay the remaining dues soon to the other 737 ex-workers, calling on the concerned workers to exercise patience.
The Regional Delegate of Labour and Social Security, Kalati Lobe Marie Catherine told CT that the ministry sent the sum of FCFA 6,800,000 and that as of the dues for good separation benefits, she was not in a position to know when it will be paid. As at press time, she said 20 of the 27 ex-workers had turned up and received their dues. She noted that the seven remaining ex- workers, who were absent, will be paid any time they showed up.