Trade Union SG advocates for improved working conditions as Gambian workers commemorate Labour Day

Trade Union SG Garba Cham present the 14-point resolution to Trade Minister Joof

By Alieu Ceesay 

Ebrima Garba Cham, the Secretary General of the Gambia National Trade Union Congress, has presented a 14-point resolution to the government through Babucarr Joof, the Trade Minister. The trade union is demanding better protection and promotion of workers’ lives and livelihoods as workers in the country celebrate Labour Day.

The 14-point resolution also recommends establishing the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, separating it from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. 

Cham emphasized that “trade is to promote investment and employment” and urged the Personnel Management Office to implement the wages and pension bill to promote and domesticate conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for social cohesion and decent work for all. 

Ebrima Garba Cham- SG Trade Union of The Gambia

Cham called on working staff to renew their commitment to adherence to principles and practices by work standards, stating, “I call on you all to inculcate the spirit of industrial peace and harmony in the workplace to realize your objectives. Your approach to dialogue as a tool for dispute resolution in the labor market is one of the secrets of our economic success.” 

Every year, on May 1st, workers across all sectors globally celebrate their successes and challenges. This date is dedicated to honoring laborers and reflecting on the importance of workers’ rights. This year’s theme for the celebration is “Accelerating job creation for economic growth.” 

In The Gambia, the day is marked by a series of sporting activities in which government and non-governmental organizations gather at McCarthy Square in Banjul. 

At least 20 institutions commemorated International Workers Day at McCarthy Square this year. 

Babucarr Joof, The Gambia’s Minister for Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment, highlighted the alignment of this year’s theme with the Gambia Government’s National Development Plan. He emphasized that through the new NDP, the government is committed to transforming the country’s economy to generate opportunities to uplift Gambian citizens through enhanced employment prospects. 

Babucarr Joof, The Gambia’s Minister for Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment

“This transformation is particularly focused on agriculture, fisheries, and tourism, which are vital for The Gambia’s economic diversification and industrial advancement,” Minister Joof explained. 

Joof revealed the government’s plans to address the demand for a minimum salary wage by many laborers in The Gambia. 

“The government has intensified its efforts to relaunch discussions on determining a National minimum wage by reconstituting the five Joint Industrial Councils (JIC) and adding two new JICs: domestic workers and hotels and hospitality industry,” he stated. 

He further mentioned that the government is reviewing several legislative instruments, such as the Factory Act, the Injury Compensation Act, and the Trade Union Bill, to enhance workers’ welfare and ensure the effective functioning of the labor market. 

“The salary needs to be improved to match the standard of living in this country,” remarked Abdou Mass, a health worker.


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