18 August 2013

Cameroon: Air Transport Worker-Employer Dialogue Underway

A congress of trade union actors of the sector held in Douala on Saturday August 17, 2013.

Workers and employers in the air transport sector will soon have their differences trashed out. The decision was taken during an elective congress of the trade union of air transport personnel, SNPTA, at the St Edouard Hotel in the Congo neighbourhood Saturday August 17.

Particular reference was made to a purported dismissal threat against nine workers of Air France charged with gross negligence and problems involving the recruitment of workers of the former Cameroon Airlines (Camair) by the recently set up Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-Co). As concerns Air France, the nine workers were said to have attempted a protest against the company but could not because the consent of the trade union was not sort. While regretting the demise of the former national carrier which they said caused the departure of 20 of the 29 trade union members who were its workers.

According to complaints the trade union alleged having received from disgruntled Camair workers, there was need for all such workers to be recruited by the new airline. It was disclosed that Camair-Co violated the Presidential decree that created the outfit, which also stipulated the recruitment of all workers of the former Camair. The workers who remain jobless until now, to incumbent National President of SNPTA, Ekedi René Bernard, are agitating with dissatisfaction giving the trade union more reason for a series of dialogue meetings, negotiation and concertation with the various company staff and officials of the Ministry of Transport.

Contacted on phone, Thierry Gango Ngassa, Camair-Co Communications Officer, explained that the corporation has recruited qualified Camair workers. Those who have not been recruited, he said, never updated their skills since the closure of Camair. Some Camair employees found jobs with other foreign companies even before Camair-Co kicked off.

Held in the presence of officials of the Regional Delegation of Employment and Vocational Training, the congress was opportunity for Ekedi, who was re-elected for another five-year term, to state his 2013-2018 action plan: reorganise all basic structures of the union, revision of the Air Transport Collective Convention, resolve worker-employer conflicts, among others.

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