By Adama Tine
The General Transport Union of The Gambia has expressed their disappointments on the government for not prioritizing the country’s transport sector and giving little respect and attention to the union’s demands.
The predicament attracted more attention after the Union submitted their findings to the government in March of this year, after embarking on a nationwide tour on the current status of the transport sector of the country m, but to their disappointment, the my said the government failed to honor the recommendations in their report.
As a result of the above, the Union has threatened to go on a sit-down strike if the government fails to meet their demands from now against 13th September, 2021 as its officials accused the government of “taking the money of the commercial vehicle owners” which they said is against the Local Government Act.
Speaking at a press briefing held at its office in Banjul on Tuesday, Omar Cessay, President of the union said: “If the government does not fulfill our demands now against the 13th September, we would sit down till our demands are met. I therefore, call on all commercial drivers in all the regions from Banjul to Basse to adhere to the Union’s stand and also urging Gambians to understand that the Union is doing all this for the interest of the general public.”
“We know what our laws have given us and what the Labour Act gave us, too. We know our procedures and we have very good lawyers that are working for the union that’s why we wrote to the government on the 10th August, 2021 giving them our demands. Amongst our demands we stated what we want and if they did not fulfill our demands, we will declare 13th September as a sit-down strike until they met our demands.
“In the report we have only twelve demands but in this case, we only expect six to be fulfilled by government and we will not compromise them. The only thing that can stop us is when they give us a better idea than ours or give us something that is good for Gambians. Government giving us a car park is our first and most valuable concern,” he said.
According to him, since 1965 commercial vehicle owners are paying duty to the government for the creating of car parks but the government had not been taking any steps to construct such car parks.
“60 percent of the revenue should come back to us but that is not happening, so we are asking the government to give us that money. When hardship comes, we start blaming each other which should not be the case, the issue is that the Gambia government does not care about the transport union and the workers of the transport union,” Mr Ceesay lamented.