Mbairobe used his visit to assure the over 20,000 workers of the CDC that government is committed to see them effectively return to work in all estates of the corporation.
The Minister's maiden outing to the CDC took him to the Oil Palm Plantation in Bota Limbe, the Banana Packing House in Mapanja I, and the Tiko Rubber Factory.
The story of the CDC and the Anglophone Crisis was then presented to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development by the Chairman of the company's Board of Directors Benjamin Itoe, its General Manager Franklin Njie and a representative of the workers Hon. Efite Andrew.
They revealed that most of the Palm, Banana and Rubber estates have been shut down completely as a result of the Anglophone crisis. While few of the factories are operating timidly, production remains staggering.
Hon. Efite Andrew, on behalf of the workers, appealed that the pending FCFA 9.3 Billion state subvention for the payment of salary arrears be disbursed and the atmosphere made conducive for work to resume in earnest.
Minister Mbairobe congratulated the workers for their commitment and discipline in the face of the current challenges. He assured them that the Head of State President Paul Biya is aware of their plight.
His words: "I want to appreciate the willingness of all the workers to resume work and to express their attachment to our main value which is peace-work-fatherland. I can assure them that the government will not spare any effort to pay their salary arrears and to give money so that the plantations and the factories will be back in activity."
The CDC is among the hardest hit by the sociopolitical crisis in the North West and South West regions. The Banana sector is totally shutdown, workers are owed between seven to 12 months of salary, many of them have been assaulted, maimed and tortured.
Some vehicles and installations of the corporation have been burnt. About 16 workers of the CDC are said to have been killed while about nine others suffered from gun-related injuries.
The CDC has about twenty thousand contracts of employment and a related monthly wage bill of about FCFA 2.5 billion. No fewer than eleven thousand jobs are threatened as at now.