The 2023 International Workers Day celebration which falls on Monday 1st May 2023 saw a number of organisations issue statements commemorating the day. This publication features two statements issued by the Gambia Press Union which advocates for the Gambian Press in the country and Team Gom Sa Bopa a youth-led Civil Society Organisation.
Celebrating the Outstanding Work of Gambian Media in the Face of Low Wages
By Muhammed S. Bah (MS) GPU President
International Workers Day is a day to celebrate and advocate for the rights of the working class and labourers. Similarly, this is a day to celebrate the hard work of Gambian Media practitioners who continue to persevere in the face of low wages and challenges in accessing Information.
According to a recent study by the Gambia Press Union on media wages, 34% of media workers earn less than D2,500 a month. Even though the challenges exist Gambian Media practitioners continue to win awards for their amazing work both within the country and across the continent.
To improve the welfare of Gambian media practitioners I urge all media institutions to sign the GPU Collective Bargaining agreement which aims to standardise the wages of Gambian media practitioners.
In the past years, there have been a rising number of attacks on media practitioners. We call on the general public to be more accommodating towards the media and urge media practitioners to abide by the GPU Code of Conduct and Ethics.
We also call on all media practitioners to register with the Union so we can advocate for their welfare together.
Together We Are Stronger
Happy Workers’ Day to all Gambian Media Practitioners.
Rising Cost of Living Outpacing Worker’s Incomes in The Gambia – International Worker’s Day
By Team Gom Sa Bopa
The rising cost of living in The Gambia has made the celebration of International Workers Day also known as Labour Day even more important for the working class and labourers in The Gambia.
The cost of living is fast outpacing salaries of the working class and labourers, especially at the lower levels.
While those in the higher echelons of power continue to increase their salaries and allowances, those in the lower ranks continue to live by hand to mouth every day. 2023 started with a 30% increase in transportation fares and now an increase in electricity (37%) and water (20%).
We call on the government to return to the previous NAWEC Tariff and its original plans to upgrade the pay scale as approved by Cabinet back in late 2021. This should bring the salaries of civil servants in line with International best practices while considering the rising cost of living.
Our movement is aware that the government plans to introduce a minimum wage policy and urges the government to fast-track the introduction of the minimum wage policy as soon as possible to uplift the plight of workers in the private sector as well.
Finally, we commend the workers in every sector who work hard to make ends meet and not giving up despite the hard times and challenges they face. You guys are the true heroes.