THE GPU JOURNALIST AWARD CEREMONY Presentation by Ebrima Garba Cham Trade Unionist

By Muhammed S. Bah

Presentation done by Ebrima Garba Cham during a lecture at the Gambia Press Union’s World Press Freedom Day commemoration and Award Giving Night .

Below is the Full Text of the Lectures.


Trade unionism was founded in the Gambia by Hon Sir Edward Francis Small the father and founder of Trade unionism, Journalism and Politics in West Africa.

The Gambia workers union was established in 1958 under the leadership of M.E. Jallow who agitated for the Independence of The Gambia in 1961and the Establishment of the JICS.

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) is a trade union of journalist. It was founded in 1978 by a group of private journalist under the leadership of the veteran Gambian journalist and publisher, the late Mr. William Dixon Colley.

The union has grown to numbers, more than 200 registered members many of whom are freelance journalists; others work for both the print and electronic media including some in government service.

The GPU is a legally registered union dedicated not only to press freedom and media development, but also to the development of the country in general.

GPU aims to be a champion of press freedom and the right of journalists to practice their profession in The Gambia.


Is the regulation of relations between workmen and employers, for the purpose of   promoting   good  Industrial  relations  between  workmen   and  employers, improving the working conditions of workmen or enhancing their economic and social status,  or increasing productivity, competitiveness, enterprise development and build trust amongst both industrial partners.

The regulation of relations between workmen and employers, the representation of workmen in trade dispute. The conducting of, or dealing with trade disputes and matters related thereto. This definition  give a Trade Union the  power to assume a social role  {regulating relations among its  members), as well  as an economic role (regulating relations between employers and employees) through collective  bargaining or  represent  them  in  tribunals  and that  of  protector  of members rights, grievances processing and the conducting of trade disputes).It is also important to note that a trade union need not include the word “Union” in its name. Some Union, in particular those whose member are professionals, call themselves associations.



Section 129 of the Labour Provider {1) An employer who employs one hundred or more employees at a single establishment for a period of three months shall set up a work committee on the request of a Trade Union which has, in membership, an employee at that establishment, unless a works committee  applicable to the employee already exist

{2) A works committee established in accordance with sub section {1) shall not be disbanded  if the  number  of  employees at  the  establishment  exceeds Ten, whether or not any employee remains a member of a Trade Union, and operate in respect of  all members  of  all members of  management or  of  all workers  as appropriate  to all membership of the Trade Union, which request          its establishment.

{2) The management shall consult a works committee whether established under this section or voluntarily, on any proposal, which may affect the employment of an employee represented by that committee.

Section 130 (1) an employer may grant a Trade Union sole bargaining rights for a category of employees. If the trade union has, in membership, at least 30% of the employees in that category at his or her establishment or group of establishment.


A Trade Union  Representative is elected by Trade Union Members  to represent some or all of them  in the collective bargaining process with their  employee; the representative could  be  a fellow  worker  of  some or  all of  the  members, an employee  of  the  Independent  Trade Union  itself, or  a member  of  the  Trade Union.

A Trade Union Representative’s primary role is the improvement of the Union Members terms   and conditions of employment through the mechanism of collective bargaining. Union   Committee members also have the power to represent Trade Union to:

  1. Demand, negotiate, or enter into a collective agreement with the employer in the interest of Union Membership.
  2. Ensure that the Union Members receive benefits as specified.
  3. Provide Union Members with information   about employment and management of work.
  4. Provide service of consultation to solve problems of work and management of work.
  5. Allocate monies or property for the welfare of the Union Members or for the general public as approved at the general meeting.
  6. Collect membership fees and subscriptions at the rate prescribed in the regulations of the Union.
  7. Publicize facts about a Labour dispute or
  8. To provide mutual assistance to union members, to represent workers in collective bargaining
  9. To promote education and workplace security
  10. To monitor employer compliance with employment legislations and social security
  11. To provide various nonprofit services, including humanitarian services to union members
  12. To represent workers in the exercise of their contractual rights
  13. Arrange for a rally or peaceful gathering for industrial actions. Although, the constitution of the  Republic of the Gambia and the Labour Act 2007 explicitly, guarantee freedom  of Association the right  to organize and to bargain  and  to institute  industrial actions by giving   notice to the Commissioner  of Labour and has also regulated  terms and conditions  of employment. This immunity does not, however, exempt the offence from criminal penalties in the case of harm to the public, life or body, freedom or reputation, and offences against property and related civil liability therefore.


  1. Training for Trade Union Representative to be highly skill, well-motivated to perform and interface effectively and efficiently in representing the interest of the members.
  2. Conduct: membership drive and membership grievances.
  3. To map out a constructive engagement strategy in promoting and protecting the interest of Union Members through the collective bargaining table.
  4. That the Gambia National Trade Union Congress was established in 1996 to serve as the umbrella Trade Union body in building one written Labour movement and we urged the GPU to associate into the GNTUC. Unity we bargain and divided we beg.