By Sailu Bah May 1st, observed as Workers Day worldwide, was commemorated in TheWorkers’ Day Gambia on Friday in the form of a March Pass parade and sporting activities. This year’s event has attracted, as usual, the participation of members of the civil service, Parastatals , private sector and unions.After the parade held in Banjul which culminated at the city square, the union leaders and government officials addressed the participants. In his address, Ebrima Garba Cham, Secretary General of the Gambia National Trade Union Congress (GNTUC), said May Day is a time for the renewal and reaffirmation of workers adherence to the principles enshrined in the international accords and protocols signed purposely to focus attention on the plight and welfare of workers throughout the world. Speaking on the welfare of workers, the GNTUC Secretary General said “We therefore call on government to pay particular attention to workers in both the formal and the informal sectors. This is imperative in view of the prices of commodities sky-rocketing and salaries are not increased to commensurate with the consumer price index and the scenario makes it so difficult for the average citizen to meet the basic necessities of life. Cognizant of this situation, workers in all sectors must have a common purpose in the protection and promotion of their interests.  In this direction, they can better engage employers in collective bargaining or agreement in the realization of benefits and better terms and conditions of employment.” Mr. Cham said financial institutions could accommodate the small and medium entrepreneurs in terms of encouraging them by waiving bank collaterals and lowering their interest rates to a minimum. He also dwelled on the terms and conditions of workers, and sectors such as forestry, environment, agriculture, finance, arts, culture as well as general recommendations. In his brief remarks, Mr. Abdou Jobe, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, said it is a very important day, as it is a day for reflection and for them to celebrate in the form of sports. He said the government has created the enabling environment for them to have a harmonious industrial relationship and provide different working conditions, the policy framework, the institutions and other capacity building measures. The Minister of Youth and Sports Abdou K Jammeh also addressed the participants and declared the event open.]]>

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