Several employees contacted by Actu Cameroun, do not know if their children will go to school in September 2022.
It is the general psychosis among the employees of the Nextell Cameroon mobile phone company. An alert to Actu Cameroun made it possible to understand that for 8 months now the workers of this mobile phone company have been without wages.
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“The last salaries paid to Nexttel (Viettel Cameroon) date back to November 2021, which makes eight months of salary arrears in this company managed to date by billionaire Baba Danpullo”, explains a source close to the ‘company. Approached by Actu Cameroun, several employees in this sad situation are afraid for the next day and opt for an anonymous confidence.
Many have already been expelled by donors, others have died
“We don’t know how we will send our children to school. Anyone who tried to encumber in this society was driven out. Without any other form of procedure,” explains a Nextell worker. Another in despair argues that the consequences of this situation are disastrous on the families of Nextell workers. They are calling on the government for help.
“Today the employees are desperate and no longer know where to go, when the start of the school year is already on the horizon. Many have already been expelled by donors, others have died or their loved ones for lack of means to treat themselves, and many to date have already lost their wives. We ask our government to help us please because many have already been chased away by the donors”, explains another employee.
The salary within Viettel Cameroon is negotiated by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee during the signing of the contract
Any attempt by Actu Cameroun to reach the general management of Nextell was unsuccessful. This is not the first time that the company has taken center stage. In June 2020, the employees of the mobile phone company Nexttel, Cameroonian subsidiary of the Vietnamese Viettel, had started a strike movement in several branches of the country: in particular in the Littoral, the South-West, the North-West and the South. This walkout had then brought the top management out of its reserve.
Indeed, in an official press release, the general management had responded point by point to certain demands of the strikers. Regarding the 50% wage cut, Nexttel said: “This statement is false. The strikers are asked to prove this accusation by producing their payslips which will attest to their allegations. In addition, it should be noted that misinformation has been published on social networks and certain media in this sense. Anything that would have been formally denied by the top management of Viettel Cameroon”.
Regarding, for example, the thirteenth month payment, Nexttel declared that it represents a gratuity paid when the company has a profitable activity at the end of the financial year. It is a form of dividend redistribution. Only, underlines the top management, the company was in deficit and therefore cannot afford to pay the thirteenth month when the operating costs are not covered. On the point concerning wage discrimination, the top management replied: “The salary within Viettel Cameroon is negotiated by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee during the signing of the contract. The alleged complaints are not justified. Also, freedom of contraction means that if you don’t agree, you don’t accept the proposed offer.”
The International Labor Office intervened with the Cameroonian government
Finally, with regard to paid holidays, Viettel Cameroon stated that for reasons of work pressure, it may happen that they are deferred. However, the latter are caught when circumstances permit. Responses from the general management of the Cameroonian subsidiary of Viettel who had had the gift of radicalizing the strikers. The latter also promised to continue an indefinite strike throughout the territory until their demands were taken into account. The strikers felt that “ the general management is in denial and shows arrogance ”. They reveal that, for having participated in the June 11 strike, they no longer have access to their offices and that their dismissal letters are being prepared at the level of the Human Resources Department.
At the same time, after the failure of mediation led by the labor inspectorate, the National Union of New Technology and Communication Workers (Syntic) seized the International Labor Organization (ILO) on May 29 about “ allegations of serious violations ” of workers’ rights within Nexttel. Karen Curti