Banners on the gates of the gate of the Ministry of Economy and Rehabilitation, buses parked at the main entrance of the building, this is the setting used by the agents of the Gabonese Transport Company (Sogatra) to arrest the Minister of Transport on April 15 on their situation. They have a total of 14 months of no Covid-19 bonuses and 11 months of salary arrears that they are now crying out for.
Based on the misery that grips them and the insecurity they bathe in while regularly going to work, the employees of the Gabonese Transport Company (Sogatra) raided the main entrance of the Ministry of Economy on April 15 and relaunched , just after a General Assembly in which they decided to question their supervising minister and in particular the head of state, Ali Bongo Ondimba, about their situation.
†We did not come for the Ministry of Economic Affairs. We came for the Minister of Transport, who is our supervising minister. You have to make that differencesaid one of the spokesmen for the striking officers, Josiane Laura Obone-Mouguengui.
Faced with the disasters and tragedies registered in the ranks of these agents, they had no choice but to do this sit-in to claim 14 months without Covid-19 bonuses and 11 months in arrears from 2018 pay.”We have some who haven’t invested yet who are renting. We have children to feed. We have patients, others have strokes, some are even dead. We have a lot to meet. Work equal pay. But if a man no longer has his salary, where is his dignity?asked another spokesperson, Ella Akuété Kossi.
†We came to see our responsible minister as a child who comes to see his father to say to him: Dad, I’m tired of starving. I’m tired of the landlord kicking me out. I’m tired of not being able to get treatmenthe continued.
Gabonese like the agents of Trans’Urb
According to several employees who met on the picket line, the salary arrears date from 2018. The Covid bonus is not paid out, while the Trans’Urb agents would receive it, they assure. †We work together with our little brother Trans’Urb, this company was born after Sagatra. She receives her bonus from the Covid Fund for the work she does for free at the request of the head of state in the transport of Gabonese. Sogatra doesn’t get his bonus. We are there to remind them that we are Gabonese and we must have our paycheck. Even the Bible says it: if you work, you must eat‘ said the deputy of the movement.
†We are Gabonese like them, they have children, we also have children. But how come some work and have their paychecks and we don’t have our paychecks? How do they think we live?a rebellious officer asked. According to him, the wives of some female officers have fled the house and can no longer control the children. They have lost credibility and power over their families and descendants. †Some types of houses, hunted by their landlords. They sleep under the stars. “Some now stay in the kitchens of friends and relatives while we work†We are Gabonese‘ he hammered, calling on the President of the Republic to take a unique look at their situation.
†We rise at impossible times to come and transport the Gabonese. I live in PK 15. From there I leave for the Sogatra base which is located in the police camp. We work hours and hours, in the end we have nothing at all for income. It’s unfair !”, denounced Ms Obone-Mouguengui, who in turn questioned the supervising minister and, in particular, the head of state, Ali Bongo Ondimba.
For the workers, if the state can no longer maintain Sogatra, they propose to just shut it down. †By closing, it gives everyone their rights. At least each of us is free in his head. Because when you know you have no obligation anywhere, you fight on another level for survival. As long as you have a contract with someone, you can’t break it until everything is clear†