A strike notice has been sent to Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute from over 20 road transport unions, over the “harsh” measures put in place by the government to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The unions stated that the government has toughened previously decreed measures to contain the spread of COVID-19; added to the requirement of constant disinfection of public transport vehicles, the government has decided to reduce from 4 to 3, the number of passengers in taxis and from 70 to 50 the number of passengers in inter-urban transports buses, threatening severe administrative and pecuniary penalties for any defaulters. This has caused great distress to transport unions. “To our great surprise and despair of transport professionals, certain measures were further tightened and made public by the Minister of Transport on March 24, 2020” they said
They further stated that adding the strict application of these measures will break down the economy of transport sectors. “…will inevitably lead to the strangling of the passenger transport sectors of the economy”
The unions are demanding the government to immediately review the pump price of fuel. They demand that the prize of fuel should be reduced from 650 to 400 CFA francs per liter of super and 575 to 350 CFA francs per liter of diesel.
However, following a meeting between the transport unions and Cameroon’s Minister of Transport, the strike has been called off. There is an unofficial increase noticed in the transportation fare, for example passengers now pay 6000frs from Buea to Yaounde instead of 5000 Frs normal rate. Township taxis no longer accept any amount less than 250 per drop. This has a devastating effect on low income earners.