The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Union (BOFEPUSU) members in Francistown have reacted angrily against the decision by the union leaders to suspend the strike, pending the outcome of the case of essential service employees at the Industrial Court.
The strikers last week Friday made a raging attack against BOFEPUSU leadership saying procedure was never followed as they were never consulted as to what would happen to the dismissed essential workers should they resume duty.
This came after Tobakani Rari, one of the negotiators of BOFEPUSU, had come to present a report to the strikers at Chedu Choga in Francistown that the Union leadership had decided to suspend the strike pending the solution of the case of the essential workers with the Industrial Court. Rari had told the strikers that the federation decided to suspend the strike as it was growing into violence and derailing the objectives of the union.
“The federation decided to suspend the strike for the good cause of BOFEPUSU as we have recently seen cases of violence, some of our members being detained, which is blemishing the image of our union and its objectives,” he told the Union.
However, things nearly went out of control when a member made a raging attack on the leadership, saying that the BOFEPUSU leaders are not genuine, adding that they could have been bribed by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.
He said that it would be a betrayal of the strikers to go back to work without proper involvement by the federation leadership, especially in the case of essential service employees who were dismissed.
“What about those essential service workers who do not want to go back to work because they are still in the dark about their benefits,” a union member asked.
The strikers went on to point at BOFEPUSU saying that they feel betrayed as they have soldiered on with the Union on the belief that they are fighting for a cause, only to be ditched at the last moment. They also pointed a blaming finger at the union saying that the leadership should know that they were elected by people as representatives, not owners, of the union.
Most of the strikers agreed that the federation leadership should reconvene and re-think their decisions, adding that a proper consultation should be done with the union members.
BOFEPUSU leadership decided to suspend the strike as from Monday to recollect and strategize their case against the government.