Feb 3, 2016, 10:15 AM
Deputies at the National Assembly have raised concerns over what they referred to as the maltreatment of Gambian workers in some private companies.
It is sad to hear from lawmakers that in our own land, our people are subjected to untold maltreatment and humiliation in the hands of so-called companies, who exploit them in different ways.
We received this news with shock and big surprise, simply because the Gambian labour laws dictate that every Gambian worker should have a dignified working environment.
This applies to all those working in the country, be it in the government circles, private companies, diplomatic missions and non-governmental organisations.
As peoples' representatives, the National Assembly must be commended for raising the concerns of those who elect them into office.
It is stated in the Labour Act that employees must be given a contract letter, which shall include all the terms of reference before the commencement of the employment. But it seems this is not the case in many institutions. Such agreement is for the betterment of both the employees and employers, as it clearly spells out the roles and obligations of both parties.
We, therefore, urge the relevant authorities, such as the Ministries of Trade and Employment, Youth and Sports and the Labour Department, to set up a joint investigative team to look into the veracity of these allegations of maltreatment.
We are equally concerned about the plight of Gambian workers and, as a result, we firmly believe that the unemployment problem in the country should not be used to the advantage of any company.
In many orgainsed work places, workers are entitled to break time, some basics such as social security contributions, transport allowance, health insurance and, above all, a safe working environment.
Workers are an important segment of the society, and anything that undermines their performance should be a cause for concern for all and sundry.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Martin Luther King