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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 12:00 GMT
Tardy Cameroon workers locked out
Ministry of Education in Yaounde, Cameroon
Workers complain their wages are too low for them to be work-conscience
Hundreds of civil servants in Cameroon arriving late for work are being locked out of their offices.

The latest to be targeted in Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni's crackdown on tardiness is the ministry of education.

Last week two top officials absent from their desks were sacked by the prime minister in a surprise spot check on the ministry of public service.

The BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah says official working hours are 0730 to 1530, but few public workers adhere to them.

The offices are being locked at 0800.

It is assumed that those locked out will lose a day's pay but this cannot be confirmed until civil servants receive their pay slips at the end of the month.

Laziness

Ministry workers are often seen hailing cabs late in the morning, arriving at their work place two hours late and leaving an hour early, our correspondent says.

Let the government increase salaries
Civil servant
In his end of year address to the nation, President Paul Biya signalled that such habits would not longer be tolerated.

"Things must change," he said.

But the crackdown has not been welcomed by bemused workers who arrive at their offices to find the gates firmly locked.

A woman working for the ministry of finance complained about the inflexibility of the new campaign, saying she needed to drop her children at school first.

Others said their wages were too low for them to be work-conscience.

"Let the government increase salaries," said another worker barred from entering his office at the ministry of finance.

The newly appointed prime minister is also keen to clamp down on laziness.

During his visit to the ministry of public service, under the full glare of the TV cameras, he was visibly shocked to discover a file pending attention since October 2003.


SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Cameroon
09 Dec 04 |  Country profiles



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