By Omar Bah
The Gambia Markets’ Union has put on hold its planned sit-down strike initially scheduled to start today, Monday after government promised to address its demands at a meeting on Friday.
Last week, the association wrote a petition to President Adama Barrow urging him to allow markets to operate from 7am to 5pm or else they will stop businesses at all markets.
But the secretary general of the Serekunda Market, Saidina Kebbeh told The Standard yesterday the planned strike has been called off but only for now.
“We are cancelling the Monday strike due to the communication we received from the office of the vice president promising to address our concerns. But I have to make it very clear that If a deal is not reached, we will go ahead with the strike on Tuesday,” Kebbeh said.
He said although they understand the situation of Covid-19, they feel Gambia should learn to live with the virus or else sustainability and survival would be a problem for many.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that vice president Dr Isatou Touray will today address the concerns of market businesspeople and vendors.
Government spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh said: “On Friday, the assigned government official had significant discussions with the president of the Gambia Market Union Task Force Committee, accompanied by seven other Union officials. The Union officials were briefed on the rationale behind the new emergency regulations and urged to exercise patience as the Government works out strategies and new modalities to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Gambia Government sincerely acknowledges the concerns raised by the Market Union Taskforce Committee and therefore, the Ministerial Committee on the Covid-19 pandemic under the stewardship of Her Excellency, the Vice President, Dr Isatou Touray, will address their concerns on Monday.
“Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health urges all market vendors and members of the public to continue to show understanding and compliance with the emergency regulations for the protection and safety of