By Sailu Bah
May 1st, observed as Workers Day worldwide, was commemorated in The
Gambia on Friday in the form of a March Pass parade and sporting activities.
This year’s event has attracted, as usual, the participation of
members of the civil service, Parastatals , private sector and
unions.After the parade held in Banjul which culminated at the city square,
the union leaders and government officials addressed the participants.
In his address, Ebrima Garba Cham, Secretary General of the Gambia
National Trade Union Congress (GNTUC), said May Day is a time for the
renewal and reaffirmation of workers adherence to the principles
enshrined in the international accords and protocols signed purposely
to focus attention on the plight and welfare of workers throughout the
Speaking on the welfare of workers, the GNTUC Secretary General said
“We therefore call on government to pay particular attention to
workers in both the formal and the informal sectors. This is
imperative in view of the prices of commodities sky-rocketing and
salaries are not increased to commensurate with the consumer price
index and the scenario makes it so difficult for the average citizen
to meet the basic necessities of life. Cognizant of this situation,
workers in all sectors must have a common purpose in the protection
and promotion of their interests. In this direction, they can better
engage employers in collective bargaining or agreement in the
realization of benefits and better terms and conditions of
Mr. Cham said financial institutions could accommodate the small and
medium entrepreneurs in terms of encouraging them by waiving bank
collaterals and lowering their interest rates to a minimum.
He also dwelled on the terms and conditions of workers, and sectors
such as forestry, environment, agriculture, finance, arts, culture as
well as general recommendations.
In his brief remarks, Mr. Abdou Jobe, the Minister of Trade, Industry,
Regional Integration and Employment, said it is a very important day,
as it is a day for reflection and for them to celebrate in the form of
He said the government has created the enabling environment for them
to have a harmonious industrial relationship and provide different
working conditions, the policy framework, the institutions and other
capacity building measures.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Abdou K Jammeh also addressed the
participants and declared the event open.
By Sailu Bah