FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

22 January 2013

Gambia: Voice of People On the Four Working Days and Hours

According to the press release issued by the Office of the President, the official working days shall be from 8am to 6pm; and schools, banks and other affected institutions may operate on Saturdays to augment the time lost.

After the press release this reporter engaged in a voice pop for people to express their opinion on the change of working days to four and the increment of working hours.

Mr.Lamin Trawally, a businessman said, now they have to arrive at their homes late, and they would not have time for their families too.

Trawally said if they want that to happen, it has to coincide with salaries too, but this he said does not commensurate with the salaries.

He added that it would be very difficult because drivers were asking for payment of two fares, now they would ask for three fares, especially coming from Banjul at night.

Mr. Trawally argued if the objective is in respect of the Friday prayers, what about magrib prayers? If congestion occurs people will be in the street up to the magrib prayers four days in the week. Moreover, workers would have to take a break at 2pm and 5pm for prayers.

"Infact they should seek people's opinion regarding the Friday prayers argued Trawally.

Trawally said the cabinet should not only decide but should also scrutinize and the judiciary should also be involved.

Trawally opined that the 8hrs working period should be maintained instead of the 10 hrs because it is impractical.

Mr. Abass Bangura said all Gambians should know by now what is happening in the Gambia and what should happen.

"Many people who are working do not have their own vehicles, how do you expect them to reach home early when they close late from work?" He asked.

Mr. Bangura asked, before increasing working hours, how about people's welfare?

Mr. Ebrima Marie also expressing his opinion on this matter said that he is surprised to hear such changes because he said what he normally hears is that people work from 9am-5pm but from 8am-5pm, he said he has never heard of that.

He said what is more interesting is that for people to work for four-working days only is very strange to him.

Mr. Marie, a civil servant said: "Well here is Gambia, we wake up everyday to do other things.

When asked how he sees the whole issue, he said he expects government to inform people and even have a national forum where issues such as this would be discussed rather than announcing them like that from the blue.

Mr. Marie went on to question the credibility of those who he said are there only to implement things rather than looking at the implications decisions have on the population. Marie said he does not appreciate this method of doing things, because if they have to work from Monday from 8am-6pm, what about those doing two jobs to make ends meet. According to him they know that there are others who are doing two jobs. He said if they close by 6pm, how can they go to their other working place? He said this has to be properly looked into.

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