It is a national day of outrage today in The Gambia, as judicial staffers have decided to embark on a sit-down strike, Freedom Newspaper can authoritatively report. Court houses in Banjul and the Greater Banjul area would be affected by Gambia’s first judicial strike action. This followed failed negotiations between the judicial staffers and their bosses. Repeated attempts to convince them to cancel the strike action had failed.
Over 200 staffers of the judiciary have signed a petition that was sent to the Judicial Secretary, in which the staffers had demanded for pay raise and other allowances. Drivers, Court Clerks, Assistant Registrars, Procurement Records, and IT Department, they are all part of the sit-down strike, a judicial insider told the Freedom Newspaper.
In a letter dated 17th November 2020, signed by Sheriff Trawally, on behalf of the Judicial Secretary, the letter captioned “REQUEST FOR ALLOWANCES” stated: “ I refer to your letter dated the 13th November 2020, with reference to the above matter. Please be informed that the matter is being looked into and considered with utmost urgency. The meantime, I would like to request for the full cooperation of all and particularly the general staff.”
The police, we have been reliably informed, had also tried to engage the disgruntled judicial workers for an amicable dialogue to persuade them not to go ahead with the strike action but without success. The judicial workers said nothing was going to stop them from exercising their constitutional guaranteed rights to peaceful sit down strike. They said have the right to embark on a sit-down strike.
According to sources, the disgruntled judicial workers are demanding for better working conditions, incentives, risk allowance, and pay raise. They want their salaries to be increased.
The judicial workers felt that it is unfair for the Barrow government to increase the salaries of the bench and exclude the workers, who are the main pillars of the judiciary.
The judges’ salaries have been increased to one hundred percent, one of them told this medium. The protesting staffers said they will not resume work unless their demands are met.
Written by Pa Nderry M’Bai
Email: [email protected]