Gabon’s Forestry And Water Union Gives Govt 3-Day Ultimatum Over Unpaid Dues

The General Assembly of Gabon’s National Syndicate of Forestry and Water Professionals (SYNAPEF), has given the country’s Minister of Forestry and Water, Lee White, a three-day ultimatum to pay the entire amount of output allowances due to its members or face industrial action.

During a meeting of the syndicate held in Libreville the capital on Monday, the minister was given up to Jan. 21, 2021, to ensure that the 2020 fourth quarter allowances for output due to the forestry and water agents be paid or they would resort to further action.

“The general assembly wanted to receive the opinions of the forestry and water agents in order for us to know what action to take next,” Didier Atome Bidang, declared the president of SYNAPEF.

“We have found out that during the fourth quarter of 2020, the agents did not receive all of their allowances whereas the titular ministry (Forestry and Water) had announced during the third quarter that the allowances were ready.

“Faced with this discovery, within the context of preserving the social climate in the ministry, the agents have given the minister a delay of three days to pay the money,” the SYNAPEF president added.

During the three-day wait period of grace, the members of the syndicate decided they would be coming to work dressed in red in order to put pressure on their titular ministry.

“At the end of this period, if nothing is done, SYNAPEF would call a meeting of members to decide on what action to take next, which would not exclude the re-launching of the strike action that was suspended in September 2020.

“In the meantime, the syndicate is going to address a letter to the minister wherein the conclusions of the general assembly meeting of Jan.18, 2021, would be spelt out,” the SYNAPEF president revealed.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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