Botswana Mine Workers Union will Tuesday February 11th engage on a peaceful demonstration against BOSETO mine management‘s decision to change working conditions and retrench staff without consulting workers through their Union. “We have decided on peaceful demonstration after negotiations with the company have failed “BMWU President Jack Tlhagale said this week.
Tlhagale said the company has retrenched 40 of their members and are reported to be planning to retrench 40 more without consulting the workers through the union, and have up to now not paid those it has retrenched their terminal benefits as should have been the case, stating that that the money will be deposited into their accounts at a later stage. He said the company has also decided to change work shifts from current four to three after retrenching some staff members. Workers are now expected to work for 12 hours 14 straight days then go off for seven days instead of the current system where they work for seven days twelve hours then go off for another seven days.
Their complaint is that this shift is strenuous and the mine has not applied to the Labour Department for an exemption to change shifts. “They are disregarding the country‘s labour laws and we are going to raise this issue with the labour department next week”, he said. Besides demonstrating, Tlhagale said that they have already engaged their lawyers on the issue as all other efforts have failed. “We have even been to the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Batshu but that has not helped us”, he said.