Work Is Not A Privilege But A Right

Momodou Lamin Suso

Workers should know their value and their right to work. Work is not a privilege but a Right as enshrine in the UN human Rights Declaration.

It is with great pleasure that I seize this opportunity on behalf of the membership of the Gambia Labour Congress and its affiliates, namely, The Gambia Labour union, The Gambia Transport, Agriculture, Food and Industrial Workers Union, The Gambia Horticulture and General Workers union, The Non Formal Workers committee, The Public Service Committee, The Gambia Dock workers and Maritime  Union, The Prisoners Workers Association) to congratulate the working class movement on this occasion of this years workers Day celebration This Day is set to commemorate the Chicago incident when workers lost their lives fighting for  working condition. The fight for better conditions of work and decent work peace coexistence and Industrial peace still continues.

In the Gambia this day is celebrated through Workers Day Sports but it is regrettable that no workers Union Team participate as a Team. in fact those present all represent their various Companies. Workers should know their value and their right to work. Work is not a privilege but a Right as enshrine in the UN human Rights Declaration.

We in the Gambia Labour Congress will continue to protect the interest of all workers and we will endeavor to build capacity within the Trade Union Movement so that we can adequately, match our counter parts from Government and Employers in dealing with pertinent National Development issues.

We decry the current intervention by some Government Authorities in the internal affairs of the Union in particular Mr Essa Drammeh an official of the Ministry of Works, Infrastructure and Transport. Our affiliated organization( ILO Convention 98 is pertinent) The Gambia Transport, Agriculture  Food and Industrial Workers Union has be subjected to endless intimidation, suppression and discrimination by the said Officer. His action amongst others has given the Union cause to submit a Petition to the relevant National Assembly Select Committee for a redress.

As we look forward to a new Employment Policy we hope the Women Workers particularly those in the Agriculture Sector are given maximum Care and safe guard their interest and protect form hazardous work or prolonged working hours under the Sun

On this auspicious workers Day Celebration we re affirmed our committee for Unity in the Labour Movement and our strong believe that under the Gambia Trade Union Bureau genuine organize Labour can be achieved.

We congratulate Government and Employers on this Day and call for the following:

1.         Review of all ILO Conventions that is pertinent to Labour and Employers.

2.         Review the Expatriate Quota to favor the Gambians

3.         Expand the Industrial Tribunal to cover the Regions.

4.         Abolish the J I C and set up a Review Commission to study the implementation of a National minimum wage in accordance with the ILO Convention and Recommendation NO 131

5.         Promote Collective Bargaining between workers Representative and Management.

6.         Review all cases where Workers have been victimize for expressing their honest opinions over Management’s misdemeanors .The case in Point if that of the Employees of the Social security Housing  and Finance Cooperation.

7.         As I L O is set to adopt a new convention on Violence and Harassment of Women and Men in the world of work at it Centenary session in June, we call on Government to lend support to this very important Convention with a view to domesticating same in our laws.

8.         We call on Government to seriously consider the plight of the Youths and Woman and to do everything possible to provide with Jobs and training to beneficial to their future. The Youth and Women are the future of the Nation.

On a Final Note I call on all Unionist to put the workers first. Let us unite. In Unity leis our strength and United we are strong and relevant.

God bless New Gambia Long Live Workers Solidarity.

Momodou Lamin Suso

Assistant Secretary

Gambia Labour congress

Deputy Secretary General of GamTUB



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