Saturday, May 28, 2022

BOFEPUSU threatens to restart strike if negotiations fail

The Publicity Secretary of the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU), Goretetse Kekgonegile, said over the weekend that should the government continue to ignore the plight of the Public Employees over salary increment they will have to resume the strike.

He was speaking at the Botswana Congress Party congress in Francistown.

An active member of the BCP, Kekgonegile reacted angrily to reports that the public employees have accepted the 3 percent increment by government, saying that those reports are lies as the union leaders are currently in talks with the employer and never signed any agreement.

“The reports that we accepted the 3 percent increment from government are a lie and I want to assure everyone that if government does not take our plight seriously we will have to resume the strike and perhaps continue it for years,” he told the congress.

Kekgonegile went further to mention that the outcomes of the two months strike had its repercussions on innocent Batswana but went on to add that the strike is also for the welfare of the public employees. He gave a shower of accolades to the BCP, saying that it is only through their support that they managed to survive the challenging times during the two months strike. The Publicity Secretary went further to tell the congress that as BOFEPUSU, they will continue to challenge the Public Service Act, which spells that striking employees should not engage in political activities.

“We believe it is our right as unionists to engage in political activities as we also vote,” he added.

Kekgonegile opened fire at the state media saying that during their last BOFEPUSU Congress meeting, the union resolved to ban the state media from attending any of their events, adding that the state media is useless to the union.

He added that, as the BCP states in its manifesto, it will support unions in their clash with government; they will also partner with the BCP in whatever they do. He added that they, as BOFEPUSU, will also support the opposition cooperation project.

A number of union committee members had been invited to the BCP Annual Congress meeting in Francistown to give solidarity messages to the party.

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