ENEO Denies Hiring Striking Workers

ENEO power lines

ENEO power lines

Officials of the National Electricity Distribution Company-Energy of Cameroon (ENEO) say the striking metre readers and bill distributors in Bamenda are not their workers. Michel Mbopda, the Regional Delegate of ENEO Northwest told Bamenda Online that the striking workers work for their partner known as Europe-Afrique Internationale (EAI), who won the contract to read metre and provide bills for the then AES-SONEL now ENEO.

Some twenty five workers charged with reading metres and handing out bills to consumers down their tools in favour of a sit down strike last Monday, complaining of poor working conditions, lack of job security, no social security and discriminations amongst others. They carried placards with a list of their grievances and staged a peaceful protest in front of ENEO regional Office at Ntarikon Bamenda.

Some of the disgruntled workers told us they have been working like this for the past 10 years without a fixed salary, no annual leave, no insurance number, no risk allowance and were recruited by ENEO, by then AES Sonel to the best of their knowledge and are confused when they are referred to EAI instead.

“We are actually confused…. When we ask ENEO about our status they will refer us to EAI and when we ask EAI they will refer us to ENEO. We are in a situation of a dilemma and we don’t know where to go” Camsi Samson, spokesman for the striking workers explained.

Answering to how they get paid, he said they have a register of the number of hours put in monthly which is signed by ENEO and then transferred to another body which they think is EAI for payment.

They workers were striking in their uniforms which clearly bears the inscription ENEO, and their batches with the logo of ENEO and with a message written on it “property of ENEO if found should be return to the nearest ENEO agency”

Michel Mbopda defended his corporation saying they were given ENEO uniforms and batches and not EAI’s to ease access into homes for metre reading and distribution of bills. He however said negations are ongoing with hierarchy to find a solution to their worries.

ENEO he said has taken measure to ensure that consumers are not over charged during the standoff and that some ENEO workers and external partners have been drafted in to take over the process temporary.

Meanwhile the striking workers also say they think they are being discriminated against because they are Anglophones. They say their colleagues of the South West region have similar concerns and had to down their tolls too while it not the same situation for those of the other regions.

While the strike continues, work still continues unperturbed at the ENEO regional office in Bamenda.

Ndi Tsembom Elvis Junior.

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