Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has warned Orange Botswana that it is considering ordering is members to terminate their subscriptions with the network provider.
This comes after 27 employees were left jobless after being told that they were retrenched because of Ericson takeover.
Last month Orange was summoned for mediation on August 27, 2014 after Employee Committee wrote to the Commissioner of Labour to instruct Orange Botswana to stop the retrenchment process.
Employees said they were surprised that after a series of meetings with Orange management on the retrenchment issue, they were presented with a proposal for retrenchment packages and how the company (Orange) benchmarked with companies which carried out the retrenchment.
Briefing the media this week BOFEPUSU secretary general Tobokani Rari said his federation will not condone Orange’s behaviour.
“We see a situation nowadays where employees are being attacked or employment is no longer secure for employees. We have seen of recent, retrenchments, dismissals, disciplinary hearings, kangaroo hearings,” he said.
Rari said BOFEPUSU as a federation is a labour centre and being a labour centre the federation does not only concentrate on public service issues.
“We also talk about issues that are outside public service because our interest is labour in this country. As I speak to you right now 27 employees at Orange Botswana are without jobs, or they have been told that they have been retrenched because of Ericson takeover. This kind of behaviour is capitalistic,” he said.
He warned Orange Botswana that as a company operating within Botswana they must remember that in all the five unions that make up BOFEPUSU, there are about 190 000 employees and members of the federation who subscribe to Orange Botswana as individuals.
“Besides them being individual subscribers to Orange our unions have contracts with the very same Orange Botswana. We got in contract with them to provide airtime for our members and as a federation that stands to protect the rights of workers we warn Orange that they should desist from doing so and backtrack on their steps,” he said.
He emphasized that failure by Orange Botswana to rescind its decision the federation will arrange a meeting with Orange this coming week.
“If they fail to act on the matter we will terminate contracts with them. We are going to write to them asking to meet them so that they explain all this to us because we do not want those employees to be retrenched,” he said.
Orange Botswana Public Relations Manager, Boga Chilinde said BOFEPUSU has to understand the “whole transformation process before they can judge us.”
She said their doors are open for the leadership of the federation. “They can arrange a meeting with Orange Botswana, we will sit at the table with them and explain this matter to them,” she said.