Tuesday, January 18, 2022

BNF joins millions around the globe to support workers’ rights

The Botswana National Front (BNF) joined millions of people around the world to take action on October 7 in continued struggle for their rights. We join the workers of the world in celebration of Decent Work Day and the promotion of Decent Work. The concept of Decent Work which has been developed by the International Labour Organisation rests on four pillars;

Labour rights (freedom of association, the right not to suffer discrimination, equal opportunity, etc)

Security of employment and income (including safety in the workplace).

Access to social protection (including maternity and health security).

The right to representation in social dialogue and to collective negotiation.

The concept of “decent work” which was created by┬áHYPERLINK “http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Somav%C3%ADa” \t “_blank” \o “Juan Somav├¡a”Juan Somav├¡a, in his first report as Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 1999, was introduced as a result of deterioration in workers’ rights which occurred throughout in the 1990’s due to Globalisation and the need to respond to the social dimension of Globalisation.

Decent work establishes the conditions that should obtain in the labour relations to which must be consistent with international labour standards, where work is carried out in a free, equal, safe and humanly dignified manner. Anything less than these standards will be signal that the rights of the worker are violated, and that freedom of work therefore does not exist.

In times of recession, capital manipulates, deceives, plays with the workers and the legislators, and continually makes workers weaker and more vulnerable.

Non-decent work is found in precarious contracts, mini-jobs and contracts which require 24-hour availability.

It hides behind every attempt to decrease workers’ salaries, dismissals, cut in training, undignified salaries, abuse of power, instance of racial, religious or gender-based discrimination. Labour brokerage which is currently common in mining towns is inconsistent with Decent work. The government of Botswana should ban labour brokerage as it is undisguised exploitation.┬á

As progressives we should stay focused and ensure that labour is adequately rewarded. Looking at the four (4) pillars, it is clear that we are still far from reaching levels where we can say there is Decent work in Botswana. In fact we are sliding backwards. Around this time we should also be talking about introduction of paternity leave. Men also need to take time off work to assist in the early stages of the development of their children. The current regime is busy bashing Unions and has declared war on the workers. This should not discourage workers in their struggle but should make them realise who the real enemy is.

Moeti Mohwasa
Information and Publicity Secretary  

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