Transport union boss says drivers’ sit-down strike still in the offing

Sep 3, 2021, 1:05 PM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

Omar Ceesay, president of the Gambia Transport Union (GTU), said the government has engaged his office in negotiation regarding its previous six demands but a sit-down strike could materialise if the demands are not fulfilled by September 13th.

Speaking to The Point exclusively in Banjul, he said: government has engaged us severally regarding our demands and upcoming sit-down strike. We have almost come to a consensus in some areas of our demand and we have not discussed some areas yet,” he said.

It could be recalled that recently GTU made six demand points to improve the transport sector including provision of Car Parks for commercial vehicles across the country, to increase transportation fares of commercial vehicles, to reduce fees of commercial drivers at the Senegambia Bridge, for authorities in Senegal to respect the ECOWAS protocols, to regulate the border crisis between Gambia and Senegal and to introduce queuing system at the sea ports on goods on transit. 

However, he said: “Still our position on the sit-down strike remains the same until we agree on something and finalise it.”

Mr. Ceesay said the ministries of Trade, Transport, the Gambia Ports Authority and the Gambia Revenue Authority had a round table discussion with staff of the GTU and discussed their demands. He added that the negotiation is ongoing as they have not come to consensus on all demands.

The GTU president noted that his office has almost come to a consensus with government on provision of garages across the country; reducing The Senegambia Bridge fees for commercial vehicles and for authorities in Senegal to respect the ECOWAS protocols.

However, he said, his office and government have not yet discussed the three other demand points.

“We are going to discuss these points before 13 September and hopefully we will come to a consensus,” he added.

Mr. Ceesay renewed his call on the government to respect their demands and cooperate with the GTU to ensure the matter is resolved before the stipulated date.