Stevedores of the trade union have not ceased to load and offload ships since the sit-in began thus keeping the structure functional.
The President of the trade union Syndicat National des Transitaires Transporteurs et Acconiers du Cameroun, SYNTRAC, with 300 stevedores has made passionate pleas for the aggrieved stevedores of the Cameroon Importers Group, GPAC, to consider the economy of the country, be patriotic and go back to the dialogue table with authorities. Gallus Fouda Fouda made the plea while briefing reporters on the current state of affairs at the Douala Seaport six days after the stevedores downed their gadgets in favour of a sit-in as a way of expressing their grievances.
He made it clear that the 300 stevedores working for SYNTRAC are not protesting, they have neither ceased working nor showed signs of any grievance since their colleagues of GPAC began the sit-in.
In a statement he said, “If the seaport is paralysed as the protesters want it to be, the economy will suffer. And if it suffers Cameroonians suffer. I don’t think protesting is the right thing. They have protested but now let them come back to the dialogue table. I have contacted the leader of the aggrieved stevedores, Jean Pierre Ebale Voundi, and spoken with him in the bid to have him call off the strike but he does not see it that way.” According to him, some of the aggrieved stevedores have come to him seeking to secure work under SYNTRAC, some who are now working under the trade union. His intention, he said, is to let them work while helping to keep the seaport functional.
It is worthy to note that the stevedores who work under the Cameroon Importers Group, GPAC, have been protesting at the main entrance to the seaport and the Customs Directorate in Douala, wielding placards and parading the areas throughout the day.