Friday, December 14, 2012

■ CAMEROON: Staff at Camair-Co threaten strikes from Monday over grievances concerning pay and managerial irregularities.

Twenty-two technical and administrative staff along with stewards and stewardesses have submitted their letters of resignation to Cameroonian national carrier Camair-Co (QC) whilst others have threatened to go on strike from Monday onwards, if grievances over their "13th Month" bonus, amongst others, is not resolved.

In their strike notice addressed to the Littoral Region's labour tribunal, the Inspectorate of Labour, Camair-Co staff representatives are demanding: 
  • the payment of their "13th month" by 17 December at the latest, 
  • the simultaneous payment of their performance bonus
  • the resolution of grievances submitted in a memorandum to the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
source [CameroonOnline]

The staff's union -  Syndicat des Employés du Transport Aérien du Cameroun - have further warned that any failure by QC's management to settle the dispute will result in all flights being grounded effective Monday 17 December 2012.

Alex Van Elk
Alex Van Elk (RNL)
The relationship between the company's leadership and its workforce has become increasingly strained in the last few months after an audit conducted by the accounting firm Okalla Ahanda uncovered numerous irregularities at the company including among other things, the misappropriation of funds within the company, the CEO's exorbitant salary, astronomical accommodation allowances and alleged irregularities in the airline's procurement process.

However, in an interview with Cameroonian newspaper, Le Messager, in late November, the Director General of Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-Co), Alex Van Elk, disputed the audit report's findings. When questioned on the Okalla Ahanda's report's allegation that Van Elk had been awarded a different salary to that stated in the contract of employment, the CEO remained adamant, stating that "his salary is consistent with that provided in the employment contract signed with the Cameroonian government" before outright rejecting the report's findings.
"For a report like this, the expert must hear the Director General's side before concluding its audit. That has not been done yet. This meeting between the auditor and I is scheduled for December, " said Alex Van Elk.
Source [investauCameroun]

Van Elk's term as head of Camair Co expired two months ago with the Cameroonian government having already called for applications for a possible replacement.