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GIA dragged to Industrial Tribunal

Apr 24, 2013, 9:03 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Gambia International Airline (GIA) has been dragged to the Kanifing Industrial Tribunal by its former employees, namely Sulayman Bun Dawda Jobe, Mamadi Bajo and Kojo Coker for unfair dismissal.

Sulayman Bun Dawda Jobe testified on 22 April 2013 before tribunal chairman Jobarteh on behalf of his colleagues, and told the tribunal that he lives at Bakoteh Layout and is an electrical and electronics engineer, adding that he is not currently working.

He stated that on 9 November 2009, he arrived at his workplace and was given a letter of suspension without pay, as a result of a problem that happened on 6 November 2009.

Jobe further adduced that the suspension letter was dated 8 November 2009, bearing the complaint of the company, indicating that some kind of equipment or machine could not be started with the ignition key.

He testified that when it was given a push, it started, adding that he was blamed for it not starting.

He said the complaint was also directed to his colleagues, Mamadi Bajo and Kojo Coker.

The said suspension letter was shown to him by his counsel, E. Jah, which he identified.

His Lawyer applied to tender it and the defendant’s counsel, Kebba Sanyang, did not raise any objection. It was admitted by the tribunal.

Mr Jobe told the tribunal that when he left the airport, he drove to the office of the Ombudsman and laid his complaint, adding that he decided to respond and wrote to the management of GIA, refuting the allegation.

He said on a specific Friday, a report was not made to him that the equipment was faulty, adding that every morning, every driver and every operator would make a routine test on all the equipment that were going to be used on a particular day, and that this was prescribed on a certain form which would be forwarded to him to read, and advise his senior managers who were responsible for doing the maintenance on the particular equipment.

Jobe added that the second allegation which he refuted indicated that he was not around the workplace at that hour, adding that this happened after 12:30 p.m on Friday and his schedule of work, from Monday to Thursday, was 8 am to 4:30 pm.

He stated that on Friday, he would be on duty from 8am to 12.30pm, indicating that he was not on duty.

Mr Jobe further said that he made copies of his refutal letter to the management of GIA, the permanent secretary to the Secretary General, the permanent secretary to the Personnel Management Office and the Board of Directors of the GIA.

He said he did this because there were grievances from the management, and were not copied to the authorities.

He further indicated that he had responses from the authorities, which he copied to his colleagues and the GIA management.

His counsel showed him the letter from the authorities, which he identified, and his counsel then applied to tender it.

The said letter was admitted by the tribunal after the defendant’s counsel did not make any objection.

Mr Jobe stated that the management wrote another letter to him and his colleagues dated 24 November 2009, adding that instead of responding to his refutal letter, the management reacted as to why he should issue copies of his refutal letter to the authorities.

On 3 December 2009, he and his colleagues sat again and discussed the second letter written by the management, he said, adding that they discovered that the management was deviating from the main subject, bringing about new claims that were not in the suspension letter.

At this juncture, the case was adjourned till 7 May 2013.