National Trade Union Congress secretary general Ebrima Gaba Cham has been
demanding from the government to increase workers and pension salaries to help
workers upgrade their conditions because they are earning very little monthly
During a visit by officials of IF Metal; a trade union in Sweden and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation commonly referred to as LO at his office at Churchills town last Thursday, Mr. Cham said IF Metal and LO have been of assistance to countries and have political parties to assist workers.
He said officials of the two institutions were in the country to support the labor movement in terms of idea sharing, education and in many respects depending on their needs and how to tackle challenges. “The Swedish are not only here for the labor union but also for employers and workers.”
Mr. Cham explained that Gambia’s labor movement has been too weak since the time of the country’s first republic. “For how long will it take for Gambian workers to happily reap the fruits of their labor? The workers work for overtime because their salaries are not encouraging. This is what makes the Union weaker because if you are not earning enough, you will not be able to contribute to the union.”
He said from 1996 to date, there has been no minimum wage in the country, saying stakeholders have met on many occasions and ratified minimum wage but nothing is still working. “The new government’s trade minister who is responsible for labor matters was able to convene a workshop in establishing a standard minimum wage and an employment policy. “With the support of LO and IF Metal, we will be able to make a good standard in carrying our duties properly.”
Chairperson of LO and IF Metals Pia Litbo promised that with the support of their union in Sweden, they will be able to help solve The Gambian problems. “In Sweden, we started with discussions with workers to join us and make some contribution. We will help to develop education, drivers and more in the country for better working conditions”. She promised.