By Abdoulie John
As The Gambi joined Wednesday the International Community to celebrate May Day, the country’s Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Bai Lamin Jobe, has reiterated government’s commitment to fortifying the country’s human capital.
“The government of The Gambia recognizes the country’s most critical resource is its people, who are not only the drivers of its development but also at the pinnacle of its development agenda,” he said in a statement delivered before Gambian hundreds of workers who stormed Independence Stadium in Bakau to mark Labour Day.
A good numbers of workers continue to live pay check to pay check as they are still confronted with mounting challenges. The recent salary raise by President Adama Barrow is welcomed, but many voices are deploring the fact that salaries are yet to be based on the real cost of living…
Minister Jobe assured workers that efforts are being made by government with a view to provide the necessary support for the development of the human capital.
“These efforts include reform of the Civil Service and the introduction of performance contracts for the State-owned entreprises for enhanced service delivery,” he added.
Weighing in on this year’s theme which is centred on “Building Workers’ Power, Change the Rules,” Jobe said the theme call for concerted efforts to bring to force workers’ aspirations geared towards the realisation of our collective dreams.
He further stated that is what prompted the Ministry of Trade to join hands with the Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBOS) to conduct The Gambia Labour Force Survey 2018. He then added that the initiative would help “ascertain up-to-date information about the labour market in turn promulgate laws and formulate sound people.”
In his address, Gambia’s leading trade unionist, Ebrima Garba Cham said May Day constitutes a moment to reflect on their working conditions while renewing their commitment to upholding and promoting the principles of justice, equal remuneration for work of equal value as well as appropriate work conditions.
“Conducive work environment goes beyond the demands for adequate remuneration and ideal working conditions,” said the Secretary General of Gambia National Trade Union Congress (GNTUC).
Cham seized the opportunity to call on workers to inculcate the spirit of industrial peace and harmony at their working places to realise their objectives.
Putting dialogue at the centre of industrial relations, GNTUC’s emblematic figure highlighted the importance of ‘dialogue as a tool for dispute resolution in the labour market,’ adding that it is a key factor for the country’s economic success.
“If this is maintained, the Gambia Labour Market will become a centre stage of attraction for foreign investors,” he stated.