5:13 pm - Wednesday April 19, 8479

Management Dialogues with Staff Representatives

Close to five thousand workers of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) might lose their jobs if nothing is done to end the ongoing socio-political crisis in the South West Region.

In a meeting that took place on Friday June 8, 2018 between the CDC’s General Manager, Staff Representatives and Trade Unionists, the state of the Corporation was presented and proposals made to caution the adverse effects of the current crisis. The General Manager, Mr. Franklin Ngoni Njie called on all to be frank, open and honest in their proposals. He explained that, “the year 2017 was not good for the Corporation. 2018 started with glimmers of hope in the Banana Group as well as an improvement in the Group Oil Palm”. Unfortunately, the persistence of the crisis across the South West Region has left the Corporation gasping. As at the day of the meeting, “nine estates including Boa, Illoani Mill, Illoani Estate, Mbonge, Mukonje, Malende, Mungo, Meanja, and Tombel are not operational. There is no guarantee of selling palm oil next year, Illoani Mill is at zero production since the month of April, Mondoni is partially functioning and the security of workers is a major concern”, explained the General Manager.


A question and answer session ensued after the GM’s opening remarks. Most workers expressed fear, fright and panic about their lives in general and the way forward in particular.  The major worry was on the situation of workers from estates which are no longer operational. Backed by the prevailing law(s) in Cameroon, the General Manager explained that, “from June 2018, workers from these estates should be paid 50% of their salaries. If the situation persist, it will drop to 40 % in July, 35 % in August, 30 % in September and after six months, such workers will be laid off”. To avoid this option, the staff representatives called on the GM to seek audiences with the powers that be in a bid to channel their concerns and prevent them from losing their jobs.

The President of the Divisional Syndicate of Agricultural Workers in Fako (DISAWOFA), Mr. Gabriel Mbene Vefonge frowned at the staff representatives. He blamed them for “focusing on trivialities at a time when the jobs of their fellow colleagues are at stake”. On this note, one of the staff representatives, Hon. Efite Andrew negotiated and obtained a fifteen minute recess for him and his peers to deepen their reflections on the envisaged salary drop of some workers. They said they were against this move and the General Manager cautioned them to be humble in formulating such a plea to the government. A committee made up of Hon. Efite Andrew, Mr. Nganso Appolinaire, Mr. Nemi Johnson and Mme Lyonga Patience was created to formulate concrete proposals to the appropriate quarters.

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