A downsizing is announced with the dismissal of some 130 employees at Cameroon’s national airline, also known as “L’Etoile du Cameroun”.
“Pursuant to the provisions of article 40 (…) of the law of 14 August 1992 on the Labor Code, I have the honor to send you herewith the list of workers that I intend to dismiss, at the end of the six-month period of layoff ”. These are the terms of a correspondence sent on December 18, 2020 by the managing director of Camair.Co, Louis Georges Ndipendi Kouotou, to the various staff representatives of the Cameroonian public airline.
In total, 130 employees are affected by these “redundancies for economic reasons”, which corresponds to nearly a third of the 371 employees of the company laid off since June 22, 2020, for a renewable period of three months. “It should be noted that the selection criteria used for said dismissal are in order of priority, professional skills, seniority in the company and the family responsibilities of the workers …”, specifies the CEO of Camair Co.
Through these redundancies, Camair Co is thus initiating the 3rd component (rationalization of human resources management and reduction of the wage bill) of its restructuring plan, after the ongoing rehabilitation and strengthening of its fleet, and the resumption of the ‘operation of the company on October 18, 2020 (after 8 months of suspension), thanks to a rental Boeing 737.
Rented with a Ukrainian crew for a period of three months, this aircraft will in principle be returned to its owner at the end of the current month of December. The Camair Co fleet should then be able to take over. In this regard, we remember that in a correspondence addressed to the Prime Minister on July 14, 2020, the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, revealed the release of a financial allocation of 15 billion FCFA, intended to restore the image of the company’s fleet.
According to the terms of the aforementioned letter, this umpteenth infusion from the state in favor of the state-owned airline was to be used “to send for maintenance one of the Boeing 737-700 NG; the acquisition of two Dash Bombardier Q400 aircraft, better suited to short-haul routes; and the rental of two engines likely to allow the return to flight of the second Boeing 737-700 NG ”from Camair Co.
As a reminder, since the launch of its activities in 2011, Camair Co has never really managed to take off in terms of both management and operation. Overwhelmed by financial difficulties, the company has already changed six general managers in the space of 9 years (the government is already looking for a replacement for the current CEO, Editor’s note), accumulates losses each year (more than 100 billion of FCFA returned in the first quarter of 2020) and is crumbling under the weight of a debt estimated at more than FCFA 110 billion.
Source: Business in Cameroon