17 miners strike at Gamico

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
At least 17 miners from Gamico, a mining company based in Sanyang Village, are reportedly started on strike, in protest against “unlawful” deduction of their salaries by the proprietor of the company.

Nuha Jammeh, a miner and native of Sanyang, said the proprietor of the company, who is a Lebanese, had deducted their salaries after 1,000 litres of gas oil went missing from a machine that he (the proprietor) himself administers daily. He said D1,780 was deducted from each of their monthly salaries of D2,200 each.

“This machine is guarded 24 hours around the clock by the military police personnel everyday, and we are not the only people at the site. Since we started work there, the boss has been the sole person who has access to the machine and he personally pour in the gas oil in the dredging machine daily. So this accusation came to us as a complete shock, as we have never gotten close to the machine,” a bewildered Jammeh told the Daily Observer.

Mr Jammeh further revealed that they work for eight hours everyday without food and transport, and that they risk their allowances if anyone of them fails to come to work even for unavoidable reasons, such as illness.

Bamba Bojang, another aggrieved miner, complained that they were doing a “very risky” job in which one could be trapped in fatal accidents, anytime. “We are therefore calling on the government and relevant authorities to come to our aid. Let them investigate this matter to see who is wrong, because we are young and we are contributing to nation building. We are being treated unfairly by our boss,” Bojang fumed.

Gamico managing director was not available for comments, when contacted by the Daily Obsever. But a staff at the company, who opted to remain anonymous, confirmed the story.

Author: by Ebrima Jatta