Transport union set for restructuring

Friday, October 6, 2006
Abdoulai Sosseh, 1st Vice President of Gambia National Transport Agricultural Food and Industrial Workers Union (GNTAFIWU), has affirmed their preparedness to reorganise the union to address the needs of its members.

Mr Sosseh, who also doubles as the Chairman for the APRC Atlanta Chapter in United States, described the union as being in disarray with some of its membership discouraged. He observed that the union has not been functioning as it should; saying its authority and role has been usurped by the Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA), leaving its parent body toothless. “This is an off-shoot of the union. It was created to provide social services for members of the union. This was why it was registered as a non-profit making association. But unfortunately, it is now enjoying all the privileges that the union should have,” he said.

He frowned at the monopolisation of the “load manifest” by the association, saying “this document is what the union uses to generate income in order to function. But the union has been denied access to the manifest, which is issued out to agents, detailing the flow of goods outside the country”.

Mr Sosseh lamented that the manifest was taken from the union and handed over to the association. He described the act as contrary to the union’s constitution and the spirit of unionism. He then appealed to the Department of State for Interior, and the Department of State for Trade, Industry and Employment to return the manifest to the union for it to continue on the business in the best interest of its membership. “We are restructuring. It must be understood that the union is a legal entity that all stakeholders must uphold,” he added.

Noting that plans are under way for the union’s congress, Mr Sosseh, who is also the Chairman of APRC USA National Coordinating Committee, pointed out that this will be preceded by sensitisation of members and the public on the union.

According to him, the union is recognised internationally and has been representing the country at many international conferences of transport unions. “What is needed now is to bring together all the members of the union and the GNTCA for the development of the country,” he noted.
Author: Written by Ebrima Jaw Manneh
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper
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