Janitors at Gambia’s main hospital strike over past due payments

Janitors at Gambia’s main hospital strike over past due payments

In the front yard of the hospital filled with onlookers and a handful of people angrily screaming, just right outside the main drive leading to main government center in Banjul.

A janitors’ protest at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital is raving as they demand the hospital’s credit union to pay past due payments.

According to workers, they have not been paid for at least four months; for some, as long as six.

“The current strike is about our payments, our own money. They cannot deduct our checks and fail to give us our payment as agreed. We have responsibilities,” one of the protesters said.

The non-payments are taking an overwhelming toll on workers and left them with no options but to strike.

Workers say the credit union has been deducting their paychecks for their contributions. They are finding it difficult to provide for their families and facing eviction by their landlords.

It is the second public protest since the new government took over.

Janitors are some of the least paid employees in both the public and private sectors. The average Gambian earn less than US$500 a year, in a country where households spend at least US$125 a month on feeding.

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