Government issues statement ahead of strike by drivers

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The ministry of transport said on Sunday it is unfortunate drivers in the country have resolved to pursue their industrial action on Monday.

The nation’s drivers have been at war with government over at least six demands among them garages, transport fare increase and reduction of toll crossing fee at the Senegambia bridge.

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The government on Sunday said it’s unfortunate the drivers are still minded to strike even after meeting three of the demands including garages and reduction of the toll crossing fee at Senegambia bridge.

A statement by the transport ministry said: “…it is unfortunate and bizarre that the union have determined to pursue their industrial action starting Monday, the 13th September, 2021 coinciding with examination calendar for grade 12 students, Presidential statutory tour nation-wide, the state of the nation in these times of election.

“We have put in place contingency plan to assist student to commute to exam centers. Secretary General have instructed all government, agencies and SOEs drivers pick students to and from examcenters in the wee hours of 5am to 10am & 1am to 3pm. The DG – GTSC is also by release requested to mobilized additional buses to cover the GBA (Banjul, KMC, WCR) for commuting students and workers. Equally the driving public are all requested to assist during the period of the strike to assist students and the travelling public

“The action of the union reinforces the urgency of stepping the expansion of the public transportation service to the nation i.eferry, buses, river transport and light rails). To that effect, we salute GTSC recent acquisition drive for 33 buses from the QGroup. Government have taken note and will compliment your efforts by granting necessary support and continue to putting in place the needed infrastructure such as roads, bridges etc.

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“Government sincerely appeals to the general public adversely affected by the strike to be patient. To those drivers in Banjul, Serrekunda, Gunjur, Brikama, Barra, Farafenni, Somma, Kaur, Bansang, Basse that want to continue their normal services, are encourage to do so as all rights would be respected and protected. To the GTU President and striking drivers, we urge you to come back to the negotiation table and discontinue the strike in the interest of your members and your beloved clients.”

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