The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Employees Union will, on the 18th of April engage in country-wide celebrations to mark the historic government employees’ strike, which lasted for two months last year.
This is according to the Union’s Publicity Secretary, Goretetse Kekgonegile. He said that the main objective of the strike was a demand for fulfillment of 16 percent wages increment by workers and that though the workers did not get the 16 percent increment, a significant number of benefits came out of the industrial action.
Amongst such benefits was the strengthening of unity of purpose amongst the Union’s affiliates, empowerment of structures, especially leadership in resisting harsh and punitive repercussions emanating from the revenge actions perpetrated by the employer for the strike.
The strike also helped in the identification of loopholes within the country’s labour laws and relations, along with noting lack of clarity of roles between employer and the executive arm of the government.
Kekgonegile said that celebrations will end with demonstrations to petition the Directorate of Public Service Management or its representative on the following: deteriorating human and Trade Union rights in the country, silencing and bashing of trade unions in Botswana, contrary to the International Labour Organisation, of which Botswana is a signatory.
Also in the petition will be unlawful suspension of trade union leaders and deliberate failure to extend secondment of trade union leaders to undertake their mandate in a non intimidating atmosphere and unfair dismissal of workers partaking in a legal industrial action and selective reemployment of dismissed workers under very harsh and punitive conditions.