Some workers of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL) have threatened to go on strike over eight years of unpaid salaries. Recruited under the Multipurpose Community Tele Centres and the Digital Access Points programme, the workers claim they have never been paid for eight years now.
Some of the workers told MMI they are considering a strike action because efforts to get their wages paid have been futile.
“I am a worker in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications under the TCPs, which were initiated to bring technology closer to the people in the local areas or villages. For over the years we have not been paid or compensated, or even recognized as workers under this Ministry or better still not covered by the labour code in Cameroon,” one of the aggrieved workers who opted not to be named told MMI.
“So we unanimously wish to take a strike action to enable the payment of our long-overdue money,” she said adding that, “The first move was initiated by the anglophones only but recently we have come together as a whole country to push it through.”
The MINPISTEL workers have been raising concerns about their salaries not being paid for several years now.
In February, a group of workers from the North West and South West Regions wrote to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications seeking answers to their salary problems.
But the response from the government was not favourable.
Since 2021, they said the Prime Ministry and MINPOSTEL have repeatedly denied having an audience with the representatives of the Collective of TCP/PAN Northwest and Southwest Regions.
“We have, several times, been called to compile documents for payment, since 2021, we were asked to do a census and project how each person was owed or expecting as a minimal projection through the regional delegations, we did and it yielded no fruits. We compiled again in 2022 and till now nothing.”
After the government, failed to look into the worries of workers from the Anglophone Regions, disgruntled MINPOSTEL workers nationwide resolved to stage a united strike action if nothing is done to resolve the problem.
“We have been humble and patient to an extent we cannot more take it as good citizens of the country Cameroon who have been punished systematically and technically to the wall with no pity. We have since 2015, been denied our rights, marginalized as if we don’t deserve a right to be treated as public servants.”
Those of them who have been working in the crisis-hit North West and South West Regions say their predicament is even worse, coupled with the ongoing armed conflict.
“Our economy of North West and South West has been plagued with the Anglophone Crisis as you know and we lost some of our colleagues. Other institutions; both governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have taken steps to assist the victims of which we are part but we have been neglected to an extent that even the special status granted to Northwest and Southwest exempts us,” one of the workers lamented in a chat with MMI.