May 13, 2020, 12:03 PM
A fire incident in the early hours of Tuesday morning engulfed the Brikama Market destroying 20 stalls.
On Monday, the angry staff stormed the premises of the clinic in Brusubi, expressing total disapproval of the top brass as they displayed placards with inscriptions. ‘Operation we can’t work with Sanju Kumar.’ ‘Sanju Must go and Modou Sise should also go.’ ‘Africmed Staff have decided.’ Risk allowances must be paid and Free and adequate supply of surgical face mask to all staff’ among host of others.
The angry staffs are also demanding the payment of 25% that was “forcefully” deducted from their August salaries and also the reinstatement of three staff of the clinic. They have given ultimatum to the management to meet their demands or their sit-down strike continues. They claimed that even the surgical face masks were sold to them at D40.
A letter dated 12 August with the subject, “Internal Memo,” which was addressed to the clinic heads of department and obtained by The Point reads: “Following consultations and the dire financial situation due to the covid-19 pandemic which is posing challenges to the global economics and our financial situation; the management team has to review all business goals, objectives and processes in order to find ways to decrease expenses, increase revenue and protect the future well-being of the company.”
As a result of this, the letter said, analysis are in effort to manage company assets conservation during this economically challenging time, the management team has come to a difficult but necessary conclusion that effective August, 2020, all employees will receive a 25% reduction in their monthly salaries until December, 2020.
Meanwhile, another letter obtained by our reporter addressed to the clinic administrator with the subject: “Condemnation of the applied 25% salary deduction” reads as follow: “the undersigned names and employees of Africmed International Hospital are hereby expressing our total disappointment on your recent action of cutting 25% of our salaries and we condemned the action deeply in our hearts calling it a deliberate step because we disagreed with it from the first day we had meetings with our various departmental heads.”
“Exhausting all diplomacy and referring to the above paragraph, we are hereby requesting the management of the clinic through the finance department to refund all employees the deducted 25% from their salaries latest 31 August, 2020 at 10:00am, of which failure to do so we will embark on total sit-down strike.”
Alhagie M.N. Baldeh, a staff of the clinic who is part of the taskforce committee for the protest, said the protest was triggered by the management’s decision to “forcefully” deduct 25% from their salaries, describing the issues as “unacceptable,” saying: “we made it clear to them that we were totally against the hospital’s decision of deducting our salaries.”
“We are out to express our anger because we have used all diplomatic channels to make sure that we settle the issues but to no avail. However, after the protest, the hospital management called us for a meeting and we hope sure that some of our demands will be met.”
The hospital management, he explained, has agreed to pay 25% that was deducted from their salaries. “Currently, we are in a pandemic and as health workers, it’s important that we have all the equipment in order to protect ourselves and our patients. Therefore, we are happy that they have agreed to get us the necessary equipment. We are discussing with them on the other demands too and we have given them two weeks to settle our demands.”
For his part, Abdoulie Jobe claimed that three of their staff whose contracts were terminated was just the result of them participating in their protest. “We don’t want to work with the clinic’s human resources and finance managers because they turn deaf ear to the staff welfare. The most painful thing is the fact that they can’t even provide face masks to us.”
Members of The Gambia Transport Food, Agriculture and Industrial Workers Union, the biggest Transport Union in The Gambia, on Saturday 9 May 2020 overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution to dissolve its executive committee under the leadership of Mustapha Jobe, alleging that the committee has failed in all aspects and dormant in all major national issues affecting its members.
Thursday, 4 June 2020 Banjul, The Gambia – His Excellency President Adama Barrow in consultation with his Special Cabinet Sub-Committee on the Covid-19 pandemic and based on advice by the Health Experts’ Committee of The Ministry of Health has decided to relax some of the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency Restrictions.