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The plight of workers

Jan 4, 2010, 1:19 PM

Many people find their monthly spending rising on a daily basis. Supposing one goes round to find out the prices of some of the basic necessities of life, one would realise that many families are already struggling under the pressure of rising food prices and services.

As we enter the New Year, we would like to welcome President Jammeh's announcement of a 20% pay rise for all civil servants effective 1st January 2010.

This, no doubt, comes at a time when prices of basic commodities, water, electricity, transport fares, among others, tend to tip household budgets into the red.

An average family's spending monthly on essentials is roughly no less than D2, 500. This is, undoubtedly, a serious matter.

There are reports indicating that there are people receiving a minimum monthly salary of D650. This can hardly earn a bag of rice nowadays. Not to talk of the modest income of the pensioners. They are much more affected by the rising cost of living.

Workers should earn a decent income so as to be able to pay for their rent, feed their families, and take care of most of their family needs. This is essential in order to maintain an effective performance and efficient service delivery in their various offices. Remember that well motivated workers will deliver better services - which will yield better results.

We would therefore urge parastatal and private sector organisations to also give a thought to the matter of a salary increment as their workers pay packets no longer match the rising cost of living.

Workers who live on fixed income are usually worse off when prices go up, especially so when they have no other source of income. As their income falls far short of their expenditure, they tend to live by their wits and to lose interest in their work, as a result which efficiency suffers.

In as much as they are motivated, workers should also be honest, disciplined and, above all, be committed to their work.

As asserted by President Yahya Jammeh in his traditional New Year message, despite the various endeavours of the government to uplift the welfare of Gambians, some civil servants still continue to have improper work ethics.

He cited dishonesty, ineptitude and self-seeking behaviours among some public servants as detrimental factors "to the progressive work we continue to do in order to attain Vision 2020."