SONARA disaster: Workers edgy over proposed salary cuts

NEWS 08 Jul 2019
SONARA disaster:  Workers edgy over proposed salary cuts

NOELA EBOB BISONG
Workers of the National Refining Company (SONARA) in Limbe, may have been assured few days after the May 31 explosion by their General Manager, Jean Paul Simo Njonou, as well as the Minister of Water and Energy Resources Gaston Eloundou Essomba that their jobs as well as their salaries will not be tempered with in spite of the tragedy that had befallen their company, but the reality weeks after is proving otherwise.
There is tension, in the real sense of the word, across the SONARA workers population, as to when, and possibly how much, shall be deducted from their salaries.
This follows a Service Note issued by the company’s General Manager, Simo Njonou last July 1, 2019, creating a committee to work and come out with the basics of the said deductions. The committee is required to debate on salary deductions, and has been given a period of ten working days to come out with results and transmit it to the Director General.
The committee is expected to review and propose the reduction of certain staff benefits during the period when the units are stopped. The mission principally is to: refer all benefits and bonuses to staff; examine their relevance and need; propose, where appropriate, the reduction of certain benefits and bonuses; propose the effective dates of each measure selected as well as a plan of action to the management.
According to the circular, the Chairman of the Committee may, in case of need, engage the services of any internal persons whose expertise is necessary for the accomplishment of the said mission.
The said committee, headed by Chetima Hamidou, director of Human Resources comprise others like Motanga Gerald (director of General Affairs), Dikoume Albert Leonard (interim director of Finance and Accounting), Elo Manga Savio (interim director of Quality, Hygiene, Security, Environment and Inspection), Chei Lysinge Albert (interim director of Maintenance), Bikoi Bikoi (interim director of Exploitation), Tagne Tebou Severin, Lembe Francis and Lifaka Mathias (staff representatives) as well as the secretary, Onanena Mepouli Renette.
While it seems they are not touching on basic salary but allowances as well as other bonuses and advantages, workers are however very frightened by the move, and uncertainty looms.
It should be noted that in the course of last week, all those detained in connection to the tragedy of the company were released without bail.
Also, the GM, Simo Njonou as made public a Press Release informing that the company, for obvious reasons, will not engage in holiday jobs and internship programmes this year.

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