Thursday, March 12, 2015

[biofuelwatch] Cameroon: The workers of the SOCAPALM talk about their daily lives.

Cameroon: The workers of the SOCAPALM talk about their daily lives. (Alwihda Info) Written by Nestor Nga Etoga 

"A SOCAPALM, we collect palm nuts plans with torches until three in the morning"; says Odette.

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It's five o'clock on Friday morning. A walk in the dark and under freezing cold, Viviane has just left her home to go to work. Married with three children, Viviane is working for six years in the palm groves. The thirty barely started, Viviane, recruited initially as a "carrier" palm nuts regime received a nomination from his employer, through its  'work attendance and performance. "For eighteen months the young lady was named "team leader thirty cutters and 27 carriers." A position that honours, but "does not provide the benefits to the status". Says the worker. Like hundreds of other women who populate the size of the company, the workers of the Socapalm believe that "the work in this company become a more bullying, stress, anxiety in the loss of bonuses and other benefits  . " 

For Colette, team leader and mother of two children: " We fixed time does not stop work at home; especially during production. If you are a team leader like me, and if your subordinates cut palm nuts plans to 15 hours, you're the team leader, and you have to go to the office for writing your daily report that you have to drop from your hierarchy." Colette says"  If you have a team of 30 cutters palm nuts plans, 27 porters, two team leaders (1 leader for the tip and I followed for domestic), I must therefore leave the daily score for each of the workers of my team. This ensures that the team leader leaves office in 17 hours instead of 15 hours as everyone else." 

At the Socapalm, be working and team leader for the collection of palm nuts plans of the bush oil mill is a punishment than recognition of services rendered. Remarks confirmed by Odette, the collection team leader: "Sometimes it happens that cut daily diets and 5000 there insufficient transportation. I have to wait 23 hours before returning home. I have to ensure that all such schemes evacuated. Home to Socapalm, if you program to the collection, it's over for you! Often we collect palm nuts plans with torches until three in the morning." For Pulcheria, mother of a five month old baby" Imagine what a woman, you enter in the bush with tractors at midnight to collect palm nuts plans! Our bosses do not even reflect our marital status." 

 A Cameroonian Society of palm groves, the delay of one minute at his workstation automatically imposes the "zero points in the day" for the workers. Nathalie Esom explains. "For us, the workers did not have sex! It requires us to be at work at 5 55 minutes. If you arrive at 6HOO or more, if you do not have a chance to have blame, it's outright dismissal". Same in the oil mill with male grudges, suspension of bonuses to the result. During the rainy season, the plight of the palm of workers increases. Paulette, eight years in the company explains that "our leaders tell us that the rain is not an obstacle. The personal protective equipment is prohibited from us! If you are found in the bush with the umbrella, even in the rain, you run the sanctions that may lead to dismissal. Imagine that while I am trying to point a regime that raindrops are wetting the paper! This automatically subject to other sanctions, preceded by a request for an explanation." 

A SOCAPALM, women experience sexual harassment from their bosses. To Miss Audrey, 28, mother of a boy of two years and employed for four years in a company subcontracted to Socapalm: "if you're not girlfriend or mistress of a supervisor, we begin to put you to work pressure; it affects you sometimes spots reserved for men."  

Women in the agricultural sector often do not have fixed positions. They are forbidden to refuse to perform a task for them by the hierarchy. Pascaline for young newly recruited workers " when I passed by a spot, I have to lie I'm sick to receive permission." 

During periods of pregnancy, women holding medical documents benefit leave Maternity automatically losing their bonuses, retaining only their base salary. In plantations, there is a lack of working materials. Sylvie ABEH, assigned to the "clearing" explains that "in eradication period, for example, if there are more than machetes in the shop, we are asked to go to pick us machetes. Wheelbarrows awry when we leave the money from our pockets to repair work materials of the company. "For most workers met during the events related to the celebration of the International Day of Women, March 8. "The Socapalm cares of personal protective equipment. In case of accident, no one supported by the company that employs us. We do not have health insurance. We are not affiliated with the National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS)". For its part, Salome K. employed in a company subcontracted explains: " I exercise meant that the team leader, but I have no premiums and benefits of my position. I do not have a health insurance because my company subcontracting is not affiliated hospitals accredited by the Socapalm. When the sick worker seeks an assumption by the company, it faces the whims of his supervisor that pits very often not receiving. It is therefore necessary for us employees, to first take care of, and then gather evidence of expenses to expect any reimbursement at 80 ° / °. Sometimes the same steps lead to nothing! " 

Finally, there is the problem of overtime. Although prohibited by regulations, those hours are imposed on workers. A working time not paid by the company. According to Angeline, "although SOCAPALM refuses to pay overtime, workers are not entitled to refuse to be at his post in overtime. At the risk of a penalty which may lead to the suspension of salary for the month." 

After several vain attempts to have the opinion of the Directorate General Socapalm, the personnel director has left us tell by the voice of his assistant that : "the time was not at the reception of journalists." 

BetockVoices says - Generally housing conditions are poor characterized by congestion, poor drainage poor hygienic and sanitary conditions, poor access to social services such as water, electricity and access roads. Working conditions are poor, characterized by, low wages, poor retirement benefit schemes, long work hours, no insurance coverage for a majority of the low income and vulnerable workers, inadequate protective equipment at the job site, poor medical facilities, poor means of transportation and discriminatory working conditions amongst others. Lack of adequate income, makes it more difficult for people to feed themselves and their families.  The workers are not free to express their opinions thus suffering various forms of exploitation and oppression. The congested situation in the plantation exposes women and young girls to various forms of abuses, assaults and especially sexually transmissible infections. Besides, children pick up undesired attitudes and behaviours. More from our site -


Posted by: Betockvoices The Farmers <>


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