By Ndellah Jeng
The Gambia Ports Authority(GPA) in collaboration with Benom Consult, Ghanian Firm, and different stakeholders on Monday 23rd August, 2021 commenced a two-day Validation Workshop on the Roadmap for the Establishment of a Subsidiary Duck Labour Company and for the implementation of a Dock Labour Scheme. The convergence was held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center, Bijilo.
According to GPA, the validation of the draft is to ensure reliable and cost-effective services to meet customer satisfaction as well as to address workers’ concerns for improved working conditions and welfare.
Giving his opening remarks the Managing Director of Gambia Port’s Authority, Lamin Jobarteh reiterated the importance of the validation.
He said that the validation of the road map for the Dockworkers labour scheme is a very important step towards introducing regulating frame work conditions that promote GPA with competitiveness if successfully implemented.
“it will enable the Dockworkers labour force to better adopt and respond to the increasing capacity trend that require to life seasonings, poor side equipment mechanization” he said
MD Jobarteh added that it will help in the deduction of transport cost adding will also enable Gambia Dockworkers to act with a high degrees of autonomy an entrepreneurial mind set and take more responsibility for the expected benefits from saving and environmental protection.
Jobarteh concluded saying that the GPA should bear in mind that as a multipurpose ports handling containers, liquid bulk, and other passengers ports is expected to compete and satisfy demand with global characteristic to attain international market and fulfill the need of transport system that where future requirements that’s band outside national limits.
The President of The Gambia Dock Workers Union Mr Lang Balla Sawo stressed that with the validation of the document they believe and hope there will be an end of man-made suffering inflicted upon dockworkers.
He reiterated that there is no doubt that dockworkers in the Gambia contributed immensely towards the socioeconomic development to our motherland the Gambia.
‘‘I am very proud to associate myself with the validation meeting of the implementation of the road map for Dock Labour scheme, which has been seen by workers as long overdue’’ he said
He stated that this is second of its kind adding that the first transformation was fail by GPA since 2007 a so call executive directive and the abolition of port labour board that took Dockworkers from labour to GPA with promises but they are not material.
Balla Sawo went on to say that the maritime Dockworkers Union is calling for immediate retirement of those who are above 60 years and be pay a substantial amount of money that they can use to take care of their immediate family.
The event brought together 83 participants from stakeholder institutions to validate the Draft Final Interim Report.