The Gambia National Trade Union Congress (GNTUC) has called on employers who are fond of employing people without any appointment letter, paying without any pay slip and deducting their employees’ salary in the name of Social security without paying it, to desist from such dishonest, unscrupulous and corrupt practices.
Pic: Secretary general of GNTUC, Ebrima Garba Cham
“Precarious terms and conditions of work, such as wrongful termination or dismissal, redundancies, harassment, insolvency without compliance with Section 57 of the Labour Law by unscrupulous investors and default in payment of Social Security contributions are rampant in the country,” secretary general of GNTUC, Ebrima Garba Cham, said on 1st May, Workers Day, celebration held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau over the weekend.
Mr. Garba Cham, who was reading a Resolution by Workers in The Gambia on May Day, pointed out that most of the pension workers have died without enjoying the sweat of their labour as many employers are in default and yet their survivors cannot receive their claims from Social Security.
“There exist also, inequality of treatment and opportunity in employment. There exists, where a worker goes to toilet and asked to write an apology for spending a few minutes at the toilet,” he said.
Some workers spend decades on grade one without promotion, some are denied the right to collective bargaining and finally terminated under no just cause, because they engaged management into collective bargaining and finally to a claim, he stated.
Cham also revealed that for 24 months, some employers are reluctant to pay claims on annul leave, public holidays worked and overtime units. And when they wrongfully terminated their service was the time when the management was willing to pay their claims, thus, such cases are still pending.
Cham maintained that most of the workforce is not provided with adequate social protection particularly those in the informal economy. Some died, some are handicapped as a result of industrial accidents which is a loss to society and industry and were not compensated, because workers in the informal economy are not covered by social protection legislations.
“Is it that the conducive environment we advocate for is to encouraged investors to enslave us, neo-colonise us or encouraging apartheid? If yes, it will not be tolerated. If no, we have to change our attitudes, and be honest, sincere, committed and dedicated to enforce the rule of law without fear or favour. Add love and service, subtract hate and fear, multiply faith and courage, divined by truth and cheerfulness and build a better future for upcoming generations,” he said.
The GNTUC SG also said salaries and wages should be increased by 500 percent without inflation on price commodities.
He said this will remarkably contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan (PRSP), the Project for Accelerate Growth and Employment (PAGE), and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Minister for Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Hon. Abdou Colley said employers should realize that enhancing employability and employment of labour is a collective enterprise, in which they also have a critical role to play.
“The employers should recognize that the workforces do have members who want to be careerists over time. Such workers should be given opportunities to develop their respective careers in furtherance of self-development and for attainment of organizational goals,” he said.
He urged employers to conduct on-the-job training when necessary, given that a well-motivated workforce is more likely to deliver better, and it will contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of a nation if it is in respect of universally acceptable work ethics, professionalism, and amenable negotiation when aggrieved on accounts of bad working conditions, and paltry remuneration.
1st May, commonly called Workers Day, is set aside for workers around the world to reflect on their achievements and challenges and take new steps to improve and overcome such challenges.