Wednesday, October 20, 2021

BMWU urges Gov’t to set up bargaining council for mine workers

In a bid to protect the welfare of workers who are now at an increased risk of suffering from fatal accidents at the mine sites they are stationed, the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has urged the government to set up a bargaining council.

This clarion call came hardly a month after four miners perished at the BCL mine with six sustaining injuries after a rope snapped while a cage was transporting workers at end of shift. Just recently, a worker suffered a broken hip bone after the ore-face he was working on collapsed and buried him under an avalanche of rocks following an underground blasting operation at the BCL mine in Selebi Phikwe. Following the accident, BMWU president Jack Tlhagale called for a thorough investigation surrounding the mine’s safety systems, adding that there is need for government to set up a bargaining council to protect mine workers by solving labour disputes. Tlhagale’s main contention is that mine workers might not be adequately catered to especially when it comes to compensation, adding that the council would also ensure a significant reduction of mine accidents.

The BMWU also expressed the need for investigators to update them on the recent accident at the mine which claimed four lives, and injured many others last month. He expressed displeasure with the way they are not being updated on the progress of the investigations.

Recently, the chairman of the board of directors of the troubled copper nickel miner, Dr Akolang Tombale retired from the BCL board. The Board of Directors of the cash strapped Selebi Phikwe based copper nickel mining company is composed of Eight(8) non-executive directors, whose expertise cover a broad range of industries.

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