By Tabora Bojang
A number of parliamentarians has called on the government to amend the Gambia Labour Act and better regulate labour issues to address the inadequacies that promote the exploitation of Gambian workers.
The NAMs made these suggestions to the Justice Minister Dawda Jallow who represented the yet to be appointed Minister of Trade to table a motion for members to consider and ratify the instrument for the Amendment of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation, 1986.
In his submission Foni Bintang independent NAM, Bakary K Badjie criticised the minister for ignoring the plights of Gambian workers and focusing on international issues that will not address the constraints of workers in the country.
“Don’t forget we are representing people. Most of the time these international matters are there to benefit people who travel out there to receive per diems and other benefits. Our workers are suffering day in and day out but do we ever stand to rectify our ancient labour act? People work here all their lives and they cannot achieve anything meaningful. In fact, some are not even paid but we are not talking about that and you want us to amend this ILO for your benefit! No. Let us go and consider our Labour Act first before we come to this. We should look at the broader interest of the people and not our selfish interests,” NAM Badjie told the AG.
Member for Lower Baddibu Kemo, Gassama lamented that there have been increased cases of exploitation of workers in The Gambia especially those employed by foreign investors and businesses while accusing the government of not doing much to protect these workers.