Sunday, November 29, 2020

BMWU goes to Labour over dispute with Discovery Metals

The Botswana Mining Workers Union (BMWU) has taken a matter in which  Discovery Metals  Mine is threatening  to cut employees  salaries  and retrench employees at their operation in Sehithwa  to the Labour Department. 

The matter was taken to Labour Department after negotiations between BMWU and Discovery Metals Mine’s management collapsed last week when the company indicated that they would go ahead with retrenching and reducing employees’ salaries.

Botswana Mining Workers Union president, Jack Tlhagale, said the BMWU met the leadership of the mine who indicated that they would retrench and cut employees because the company had fallen on hard times.

The talks stalled following refusal by the union to accept the management’s decision.

Tlhagale said they took the matter to the Commissioner of Labour┬ábecause they viewed the company’s action as a drastic move towards employees.

He said the company had failed to involve the union before taking the decision.

┬á“We met the company’s management last week and they indicated that they wanted to retrench employees because they were unable to raise money to pay the employees. ┬áMost of the employees joined the company after┬áDML┬áenticed them with salaries that they┬áare now claiming they cannot afford. It’s their opinion that since employees were against the salary cut they would retrench them,” said Tlhagale.

 He stated that they were even surprised that the company was moving swiftly to retrench employees at the end of this month.
He said that the management of DML was wrong to inform the employees without involving the unions about the salary cut and retrenchment.

However Tlhagale dismissed claims that the company would go ahead with the retrenchment, saying that action could not happen if there is still a dispute before the Commissioner of Labour.

By press time, efforts to reach Discovery Metals Limited were unsuccessful.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.