The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on Cameroon’s Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni to intervene after media group TV + dismissed 8 journalists and media workers accused of being the organisers of a recent strike protesting their working conditions.
“The management of TV + should be addressing the concerns of its employees not sacking the union leaders who have led the fight for decent working conditions,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. “Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni and his government should intervene to ensure the company is meeting national labour standards and the dismissed workers are allowed to return.”
Journalists Adrienne Nobodem and Doris Ngali Nang were dismissed on November 17, less than two weeks after their colleagues Junior Kaparan, Josué Ndongo, Valery Kenmogne, Albert Jocelyn Djoukam, Constant Ekolle, Abdouraman Yepdo were fired on November 6.
All of them have been accused by the management of TV + of “having organised and taken part to a strike which made huge material and moral damage to the company” in connection to the one-day strike held on 29 October to demand receipt of unpaid salaries, employment contracts, social security registration for employees, a fixed date for payment of monthly salaries, and “upgrading wage as announced” by the company.
“It is unacceptable that the workers of such a prominent media group don’t have a contract and are not registered for social security,” said Baglo.
The group is the leading electronic media company in the country and owns Canal 2 International television station and Sweet Fm radio station.
In a joint statement the Cameroon Journalists Trade Union (SNJC) and the Union of Journalists Workers in Cameroon (SJEC) declared that they were surprised by this move. The journalists’ unions said that after negotiation between TV + management and the workers held on October 29 the group’s General Manager Emmanuel Chatué signed an agreement with a plan of action to solve all the issues raised.
The SNJC and the SJEC added that these dismissals follow two others in September. Achille Assako, a producer at Sweet Fm and Canal 2 International, was sacked for excessive absences. Clarence Hardy Yongo, former news director of Canal 2 International, was also fired but the company has not given her any reason for its decision.
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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide