Omar Tourary, vice president of The Gambia Transport, Agriculture, Food and Industrial Workers Union (GTAFIWU) has called on Gambians, particularly commercial drivers to respect the state of public emergency declaration by the government in order to control Covid-19 in the country.
In an interview with The Point at the Union’s Head Office in Kanifing, Mr. Touray said people don’t usually take state of public emergencies seriously when they are declared, adding that government should have set an example to make sure that people respect the emergency.
“The Gambia is bigger than each and every one of us, and when it comes to security, we should not play with it.”
Mr. Tourary said they were against any sit-down strike, saying as a transport union, they should always try to respect the state of public emergency because it is geared to control the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
“We don’t want to do something that is not in accordance with the law. The union is planning to meet the ministry of Works, to put our house in order because if we are taking a wrong direction, they will also have a hand in it because the sit-down strike will not be against the government but against our own people.”
He said transport is important and cannot go without commuters, but loading commercial vehicles to capacity is not an excuse because drivers are only looking for money.
“Those who are calling for the sit-down strike did not check both sides; instead they were doing it for their own interest. The person who is encouraging the drivers to load their vehicles to capacity is putting lives at risk.”
Ardy Jallow, Brusibi Turn Table Union coordinator said the transport sector as well as the sit-down strike has so many inconsistencies in it, and it was a security risk. He said they are just trying to strategies and see what they can do to make things move forward.
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