Driving school trade unionists in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, engaged in strike action on Wednesday, November 8, to show their dissatisfaction with recently imposed government measures.
The protest took place in front of the Littoral Delegation of Transport building, where the trade unionists voiced their grievances.
Central to their discontent is the government’s decision to organize special examinations for the issuance of driving licenses. They deemed the move contrary to existing regulations.
Additionally, the authorities have reduced the mandatory training period from 8 to 4 months, sparking concerns among the trade unionists.
Kamgo Foyou Juste Martial, a member of the Trade Unionists, highlighted their objections, stating, “The Ministry of Transport is organizing special sessions completely out of what the law stipulates.”
He pointed out that special sessions are being arranged even when the number of candidates falls below the legally mandated threshold. He said this leads to potential lapses in training and licensing procedures.
Expressing concern over the misuse of these special sessions, Martial explained, “Candidates whom we have registered through the normal channel in driving schools are instead surely using abnormal means to get their licenses without being well trained.”
Moreover, the trade unionists protested the reduction of the training period from eight months to four months. They asserted that such a cut devalues the driving license.
“Our driving licence should have value throughout the world,” remarked Kamgo Foyou.
Government’s Poor Response
In response to the strike action, the government opted to disperse the protesting trade unionists, employing the assistance of security forces.
The demonstrators were forcefully removed from the vicinity of the Delegation of Transport building without receiving formal communication from the institution’s administrators.
Trade Unionists Undeterred
Undeterred by the government’s reaction, the trade unionists have vowed to persist in their efforts until their concerns are officially addressed.
The President of the trade Union of driving school trainers, speaking during the protest, urged drivers to remain peaceful, assuring them that the government would soon address their grievances.
As tensions escalate between the driving school trade unionists and the government, the impact of these protests on driving education and licensing policies remains uncertain. This highlights the need for dialogue and resolution in the coming days.
Mimi Mefo Info