Sunday, September 25

Drivers, government yet to hold talk over ongoing GTU sit-down strike –

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By AdamaMakasuba

The Gambian Transport Union (GTU) and the government are yet to hold talks to resolve the commercial drivers’ ongoing sit-down strike, which has is almost paralysing transportation in many parts of the country.

The GTU is on strike over the high price of toll-free at the Senegambia Bridge and too many Police checkpoints coupled with the expensive fines on roads.

Omar Ceesay, President of the transport union, said: “we don’t expect a 100 percent sit-down strike. Our expectation was 80 percent and so far, now, we are above 80 percent. If you assess the regional level in the country, all the commercial vehicles are not plying on roads. So, if you come to the Greater Banjul Area over 50 percent of the commercial vehicles are not plying the roads. And on the side of the truck is also not plying the roads so that means that we have a good sit-down strike.”

According to him, he is doing his mandate to advocate for the rights and welfare of drivers in the country, adding that all the members of the union abide by the instruction of the union’s call.

“The achievement is that our voice has been heard, people now know our plights and what we are demanding. Because if you protest against your plights. Since we declared this strike, we didn’t hear from the government and we also haven’t gone to them. We expect that because we know that GTSC is a public entity that is government-owned and the Police if they can help let them. But we still stand by our words that the price of fuel is high which is costing us a lot.

“We want to tell the Police that the rights and power the constitution gives them to provide security for us, is the same constitution that gives us this right to strike. As far as I am concerned because I lead a group, we are monitoring and the protest is still on. This is an achievement for us because almost all the car garages are empty,” he added.