The staff representative is the spokesperson of the workers and as such needs to be protected. His basic rights should not be interfered with even to the extent the employer may not dismiss him without the prior approval of the local labour inspector in conformity with section 130 of the labour code of 1992. However, worthy of note is also the fact that if the staff representative remains untouchable, the employer would lose respect among his employees and discipline in the establishment will breakdown. This therefore means that the staff representative may be suspended or dismissed by the employer but this must be exercised under certain conditions.
SUSPENSION OF THE STAFF REPRESENTATIVE
The suspension of the staff representative appears to be the only case of suspension which should be imposed for more than 8 days. This is so because the labour inspector is given three months within which to answer the employer which may even be extended to another one month. This is in conformity with section 130 (5) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992.
DISMISSAL OF THE STAFF REPRESENTATIVE
According to section 130 of the labour code of 1992, protective cover as regards dismissal is applicable to active permanent representatives and alternate representative, former representatives for a period of six months with effect from the date of expiry of their mandate as well as candidates for the function of staff representative for 6 months with effect from the date of submission of their candidacy. This cover shall also be applicable to transfer, dismissal, disciplinary declassification or demotion as well as any situation which makes it impossible for the representative to exercise his mandate.
The authorization of the labour inspector is obligatory and preliminary to any decision for dismissal of a representative.
If the inspector’s authorization comes after the dismissal, the latter remains irregular and subsequent authorization does not justify the said dismissal.