The reflection carried out by the Inter-employer Grouping of Cameroon (Gicam) on the fate to be reserved for the salaries of workers in this period of crisis will soon be submitted to the government.
In the meantime, its president, Célestin Tawamba (photo) took advantage of a dinner-debate, organized on May 4 by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (Mintss), to save this document.
It appears from his presentation that the main employers’ organization in the country is in favor of an increase in salaries. “ We must rethink and raise salaries in general, not just the Smig (guaranteed minimum interprofessional salary, editor’s note) “, pleads Célestin Tawamba. The boss of bosses even considers that it is imperative in this period of crisis, characterized by the increase in the cost of living and production costs. This generalized inflation also imposes an increase in salaries, according to the argument of Célestin Tawamba.
In a recent study, Gicam analyzed salary policy in seven countries on the continent. The conclusion of this study is that the situation in Cameroon is the least enviable. “We cannot think that we can keep a Smig at 36,000 FCFA“, says the boss of Gicam.
The government is obviously not opposed to a new increase in the Smig, after that of 2014 when it grew by just over 8,000 FCFA from 28,000 to 36,270 FCFA. Proof, on May 1, on the occasion of the commemoration of International Labor Day, Grégoire Owona, the Mintss, revealed to the press that discussions are underway to increase the Smig. “But companies must be able to pay”, worried Grégoire Owona.
According to Célestin Tawamba, there is no need to worry because there are advantages to increasing the Smig and by extension wages. This decision, in the opinion of the president of Gicam, will contribute to improving the efficiency of companies. Provided that the government agrees to liberalize the economy.
For Gicam, this liberalization consists, among other things, in “twisting the neck of the price administration” practiced by the government at the moment. This is one of the biggest bones of contention between the public and private sectors. Because everything suggests that the power of Yaoundé wants to continue to certify the prices of basic necessities on the markets when the bosses ask to let go.
This divergence of point of view was again visible last month when cement market players asked the government to increase prices to enable them to cope with the increase in production costs, which are on an upward trend. . A plea that goes badly in Yaoundé where the status quo is preferable.
The Minister of Commerce (Mincommerce), Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, who participated in the dinner-debate organized this week by the Mintss avoided venturing into this debate on the approval of prices. But he nevertheless admitted that the time has come for Cameroon’s economic system to make its update with a return to a more united economy. Without saying more.
Finally, nothing says if the enthusiasm of Gicam on a salary increase convinces the government. Just as we do not know if the bosses are ready to assume salary increases if they do not get the government to stop the administration of prices. We will certainly have more visibility in the coming months.