At least 241 employees of the Post and Savings Company of Congo (Sopeco) have been in an unlimited “sit-in” business in front of the management of their company, in the capital, for more than a month. They demand payment of two and a half years’ backlog of wages and demand improvement of their working conditions.
From our correspondent in Brazzaville,
Branches hung on electric poles or even on trees, mosquito nets hung on chairs or scattered on the ground: the courtyard of Sopeco’s management has shown this decor for more than a month. It is an expression that they are tired of the agents who sit in for social demands. Perfect, use, supports movement.
“It must be said that the test we are going through is not easy. This has been going on for four years. It’s not easy at all. And here we have not received any salary since the beginning of 2022, she testifies, visibly angry.
Salary increase Steal Gabio, spokesperson for Sopeco interunion, says that the agents demand a total of 30 months’ backlog of salary accumulated over the past four years, and above all a revaluation of the same salaries.
“We are 241 agents paid on index162. Today we are the only ones in Congo who perceive this index. Most workers (in Congo) are at least on 300 indexes. So you can see that we have poverty wages. The lowest wage at Sopeco “90,000 CFA francs (129 euros) and the ceiling is 250,000 CFA francs (381 euros). You can imagine, with today’s life, how fathers and mothers in families support themselves,” Mr Gabio describes bitterly.
For Steal Gabio, Sopeco is experiencing a real management problem. “Management is at the heart of Sopeco’s problem; the problem is also the management of human resources: people are not at the center of project management. Here we exercise dictatorship. There is neither leadership nor vision “, states StealGabio again.
The sensitive situation of the company Gestace Ngami Ndzala, Secretary General of the trade union “Postman”, the workers of Sopeco have lost all their dignity. “We accept workers who give us their complaints. Some are evicted from their homes they can no longer afford, others have seen their wives leave them. The school for their children, which is still a right, is no longer guaranteed. You can imagine the life of a family head who has 30 months’ unpaid wages “, says Ngami Ndzala, offended.
A source in Sopeco’s management did not want to comment on the agents’ and their union statements, given that the company’s situation is sensitive and goes beyond what one might think.
Sopeco was born out of the 2003 split of the National Office of Post and Telecommunications (ONPT).