Utilities Regulation Authority (PURA) Friday held a day forum for its staff on
the rights and welfare of workers, in celebration of International Workers Day
at the utility authority’s office along Kairaba Avenue.
Acting director general Momodou Lamin Sampo Ceesay said it is customary in the Gambia that the day is celebrated at the Independence Stadium, mostly through sports to show appreciation to the contributions of workers towards the country’s development.
He said it is common knowledge that Workers Day originated in the United States, in order to get a bill passed that advocate for 8 working hours, which was approved. “The celebration of Workers Day started in order to honour their hard work.”
Mr. Ceesay said the truth is that no institution can survive without workers or employees because they put their precious efforts for the realisation of their employers’ objectives, saying they are the driving force and the blood that run in the veins of their institutions.
According to him, PURA as an institution is passionate about employees’ welfare and strives to continuously improve the working environment, conditions and work-life balance of its staff. “One of our mandates is to protect consumers of the sectors we regulate. So, if we are doing that for institutions, how about our own staff”?
He assured the staff that the Authority will remain serious about their welfare and will continue to explore various means to address employees’ concerns and needs, including setting up of committees to address different issues and concerns.
Ma Lamin Darboe, the Authority’s director of HRCA said the forum targets to create awareness on collective and individual labour right, including how and when an employee can access the services of the Office of the Ombudsman and the requirements.
He said the awareness forum will also help build the understanding of staff on how to access the Labour Department and what are the issues to be reported; how the processes works and the expected outcome or consequences.
Mr. Darboe said the forum had also discussed the SSHFC pension schemes and how they work; how pensioners can access their funds upon retirement and what is required on staffs or if a staff passes away, how the family can access the funds.