By Adama Makasuba edited Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Staff of Banjul Breweries Company Limited have vowed to stage sit down strikes every Monday until the government considers their plight. About 100 staff of the company gathered outside the breweries gates on Monday demanding for the government to review its 75% tax on beer currently bringing the company to its knees.
A father of five, working at the company told Gainako “this is the only hope I have so if here is close is going to be crazy on me.” Another staff who worked at the company for 28-years, Bekai Kujabi, stressed that they need the Company to recommence full operation.
Speaking to journalists, the president of the Company’s Workers Union, Alagie Ceesay said “our purpose of the sit down strike is about the tax increment from 10% to 75% and since December our management has been engaging the government about the issue, still now we don’t heard anything positive”. Asked how long they strike will take place Mr Ceesay responded ‘until they reduce these situations, if not every Monday we going to sit down. Every Monday.’
Ceesay says his union have engaged members of the National Assembly about the impact of the tax increase and they responded that National Assembly sittings will recommence on the 10th of June. Mr. Ceesay said if the current situation continues the Company will eventually close down, adding that the closure of the Company will also have a negative impact on the Gambian economy.
According to Borri Darboe the commercial director ”they need to listen and reverse we are not saying do not increase because if at 10% they are getting 120 Million 130 Million if they at least push it to 20 or 25 they would have at least got more. But 75 you are crippling that company. Did they think of that I don’t think so. And that’s why we’ve been telling them this will have an adverse effect.”