By Mustapha Jallow
The workers of the defunct Daily Observer newspaper have pleaded with the higher authorities to reopen the company in order to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
Modou Camara, 45-years-old and resident of Brikama, who spoke on behalf of his devastated colleagues, yesterday at Foroyaa office, said they were working at the printing unit of the Company for nearly 26 years.
He said workers were deeply concerned about the closure of the newspaper as that was their main source of income.
‘‘Few week ago, I went to social security in Banjul to find out the deduction of my salary and asked whether our taxes have been paid to GRA, but I suddenly felt sick after noticing that nothing more than D30,000 was in my social security account after working with the company for nearly 25 years. The same thing happened to my other colleagues,’’ he stressed.
He lamented, “All we care about is providing food for our families. How will we feed our families? The closure of the company will not just be hurting us but our children as well. If the paper is not opened, it would be difficult for us to feed our families because our kids will go to school with an empty stomach”.
He asked what will happen when they cannot further pay their house rents. He urged the authorities to consider their plight and reopen the paper. He said things are very hard for them as they have written several applications to secure jobs at some place, but to no avail.
‘‘We do not know our faith and for 6 months now we are sitting at home without any job and our profession is printing newspapers. Our survival now rests on the support we receive from our good friends.
The government should allow the company to operate and then they could be deducting their money on a monthly basis. The paper was employing about 120 staff and most of them are still not working.’’
He lamented, “I do not understand why we became victims after the change of government. We are suffering. Government should reopen the paper as we have not done anything wrong to warrant our current predicament”.