Yesterday was 1st May which was celebrated the world over as Workers’ Day. Workers in the Gambia converged at the Independence Stadium to celebrate. Usually, they perform several activities like sports and other things in commemoration of this day.
They then talk about the issues of concern to them. They submit a list of demands to the government which they desire to be looked into. The routine thing in the Gambia is that after all this is done, that document would just be put aside to gather dust. Nothing is heard of it again until the following celebrations of May Day again!
Workers’ Day celebration is supposed to reflect on the conditions of workers. It is supposed to look at the pay, environment and quality of life of workers. As it so happens, none of these is even close to what can be referred to as good here in our country. The pay in this country is lousy, the work environment is among the worst in the world, there is no medical insurance for workers in most offices and there is no respect for workers.
For the celebrations to have any meaning at all, the demands that workers make must be implemented to the full. For instance, for the salary of the workers to improve to meet their needs, the government of the Gambia should revise the pay scale.
For the Gambians who are not on government payroll but are rather employed by companies, businesses and corporations, government should put in place a minimum wage. This will prevent companies and corporations coming to our country and exploiting our people and paying them a pittance.
If the workers are suffering, the country will never move forward. We must change the status quo, at least for our future generations not to go through the hell we are going through today. We must be prepared to invent a tomorrow in which we will all live a dignified life that we deserve!