Stiff competition: I. Coast undertakers protest over rival

2018-03-07 20:29
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Abidjan - Hundreds of small undertaker firms in Ivory Coast went on strike on Wednesday over what they described as abusive practices by the country's dominant funeral company.

Representatives staged a rally outside the morgue of the University Hospital Centre in Abidjan's Yopougon district in protest at their rival, Ivosep.

They brandished placards reading "Enough is Enough," "Ivosep, the morgues and cemeteries do not belong to you" and "no to scams."

Boniface Kouame kra, president of the National Association of Ivory Coast Undertakers (Synapofu-CI), said "211 undertakers are on strike" over business practices by the industry's biggest company, Ivosep.

Ivosep dominates Ivory Coast's funeral industry, a legacy from French colonial times. The market segment left for small undertakers is in making coffins and transporting bodies.

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"Ivosep wants to block us from making coffins," he said. "Ivosep also wants to stop us from selling coffins in Abidjan and the major cities."

Synapofu-CI's members on Wednesday closed coffin-making shops in protest and "from Thursday, will also refuse to pick up bodies or carry out burials," he said.

Ivosep declined to comment on "accusations made by our competitors" in response to a request from AFP.

Read more on:    ivory coast  |  west africa
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