Secretary General Gambia
Labour Congress and
Chairman Trade Union Bureau
of The Gambia (GAMTUB)
When we celebrate May Day we always remember and pay homage to those that lost their lives I 1886 T the Hay Market in Chicago fighting for the rights and dignity of workers. May their souls rest in perfect peace while we continue the fight against all forms of exploitation.
As we join Government and Management of other institutions in festivities, Rallies to celebrate Workers Day organized Labour should not negate its responsibilities to advocate for the promotion of decent work and economic growth through strong workers representations and not mere Resolutions.
We in the Labour Movement must be prepared to unite into one National Labour front in order that we can work with government in ensuring decent work that involves opportunities for work, that are productive and deliver income, security in the work place and social protection for our families. Decent work that provides better prospects for personal development and social integration .Decent work in which freedom for people to express their concern, organise and participate in the decision that affects their olives and equality of opportunities and treatment food woman and men are guaranteed.
Under the New dispensation of New Gambia we look forward to the Gambia Government through its structures to give priority to creating Employment and enterprise development, thus promoting Youth employment and women economic empowerment as well as recognising the rights of people of disability and minorities to productive employment.
Salary and wages review
During the past years workers organizations have called for a completed review of the salary structure in the Gambia to commensurate with the current cost of living which has witness an increase in prices of basic commodities between 13% in the service sector to 194% in basic food prices.
We re new our call for the present Government to seriously consider appointing a Salary Review Commission with a view to establishing amongst others a Minimum living wage across the Board and recommended by the International Labour Organization. A special review is required for the Pensioners.
National workers front
Regarding the creation of a united National Labour Front, we take this opportunity on this historic day to inform the Public and the International community that after six ( 6) attempts Union Leaders representing Gambia Labour Congress Gambia Teachers Union, Gambia Press Union and Gambia National Trade Union Center at a submit held on the 19th July 2017 uder the auspices International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) ,its African Regional Organisation ITUC Afro and in collaboration with other International Trade Union Federations in the Tourism, Agriculture, Transport and Wood Work sectors, signed a Resolution to great an interim Committee charged with the mandate to work towards the formation of line Trade Union Center that will be able to further then interest, privileges and benefits of ALL and the community. Regrettable one of the signatories withdrew before the first meeting of the Committee was held.
Notwithstanding, however the desire to move forward remained the objective of the other leaders.
Trdae Union Bureau of
The Gambia (GamTUB)
Therefore without wasting anytime members of the Committee held their first meeting and decided to adopt the name, TRADE Union Bureau of The Gambia (Gam TUB) to with which the committee is identified. A constitution and a programme of Action has been adopted and officers elected to different functions. In the process in pursuit of our objectives, we are in close cooperation with The Solidarity Center a USA non profitable organization that works with Unions and NGOs and community groups, worldwide to advance workers’ rights and achieve equitable economic development. The solidarity Center will support our programmes and projects through training,education,complaints,legal aid, research and transparency initiatives that will help workers understand and exercise their rights to improve their working and living condition and build independent strong Unions.
In this connection The solidarity Center have agreed to provide Technical and financial assistance to the Bureau in the following activities,
1. Review of the proposed Trade Union Bill.
2. Reorganizing the structures of the present Unions and to identify other key sectors with a view to unionizing namely:
– Bank and Commercial Workers
– Utilities workers
– Maritime workers
– Communication workers
– Civil servants
– Health workers
– Informal workers
– Municipality workers
– Domestic servants workers
– Private Security
– Bakery workers
3. Leadership training
4. Training of trainers of trainers
5. Broad CSO consultation
6. Organizing Seminars and workshops for newly formed Unions
7. Launching a Constitution for a National Trade Union confederation.
Review of the draft trade union bill
Regarding the first activity we already we have had a day’s Programme on advocacy with a Legal specialist (Lawyer) from the Solidarity Center USA to review the proposed Trade Union Bill. After a thorough discussing we have been able to make certain observations under scoring the importance of enacting a new Trade Union Act in consultation with social partners in conformity with the Gambia Governments legal obligations. Our main concerns were issues that conflicted with the fundamental conventions of ILO which has been ratified by The Gambia. We have submitted these observations in the form of a Memorandum to the authorities for consideration.
Assistance from international patners
We have also established contacted Public Service International Organization and have signed a memorandum of Understanding in various areas for the promotion of the Civil Service with UNISON a public Service Union in the UK .Currently we ate engage in strategic programme for the revitalization of the Gambian Labour Movement to become a relevant in the Socio economic development process of New Gambia.
Collaboration with ACTRAV of the International Labour Organsation
We are in contact with the ILO Workers Education Unit, ATRAV to develop a workers education programme as well as support Trade Unions, that to enable them contribute in the activities of the ILO for the benefit of the workers.
Collaboration with Gambia government
We hope Government will support these initiatives and we look forward to meeting the Hon Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment for meaningful discussion affecting organized Labour in the Gambia.
Finally we wish President Barrow, his Government and every worker a Happy Workers Day Celebration and pray for peace, Progress and prosperity in New Gambia.
Long live the working class movement.
Allah bless the republic of The Gambia