The Point (Banjul)

Gambia: 31 Employees Sue Capital Gas

Thirty-one employees sued Capital Gas on 28 January 2013 at the Kanifing Industrial Tribunal, presided over by Magistrate Secka.

The plaintiffs are claiming the recovery of D9,365,235.78 being salary deduction, leave arrears, overtime, social security contribution arrears, public holidays and industrial accident and injuries compensation.

According to the particulars of claim of the plaintiffs, they were at all material time working for the defendant.

The plaintiffs made claime on their terms and conditions of employment such as employment contracts, annual leaves, overtime, public holidays, salary deduction, social security and industrial accident reports for compensation and protective gears but to no avail.

They claimed that Hatab Jammeh, an employee, sustained industrial accident injuries on permanent incapacity and that Alhagie Badjie, also an employee, lost two flanges as well as Mass Jobe.

The plaintiffs further claimed that the matter was reported to the Labour Department to seek redress, adding that the Labour Department convened two meetings for which the defendant promised to apply the terms and conditions of employment in a week's time with effect from the date of the meeting but to no avail.

Their claim indicated that the Workers' Union finally wrote a fourteen-day notice to institute industrial actions, adding that the Labour Department again intervened and convened a meeting.

The plaintiffs stated that the defendant again promised to institute the terms and conditions of employment.

They claimed that after the meeting, the defendant dismissed sixty-two employees for claiming their constitutional rights.

Lawyer Janet Sallah-Njie, who was representing the defendant, rose and referred the tribunal to Rule 1 of the Industrial Tribunal, citing subsection 2 to support her argument.

She submitted that the claim before the tribunal had not been in compliance with the industrial rule.

Lawyer Sallah-Njie argued that the name and address of each plaintiff represented should be on the claim, adding that under Rule 17, she was urging the tribunal to dismiss the claim because it was frivolous and vexatious.

However, she informed the court that negotiation was ongoing, adding that the defendant had prepared a contract of employment but the plaintiffs refused to sign it.

She further stated that the plaintiffs had abandoned their work and came to the tribunal.

Garba Cham, who was representing the plaintiffs, stood up and told the tribunal that he was authorised by the plaintiffs to represent them, adding that he would provide the tribunal with the authority.

At this juncture, Magistrate Secka advised both parties to resolve the matter amicably in chambers which they agreed.

The case was then adjourned till 11 February 2013.

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