Botswana Power Corporation (BCP) management and the trade union, Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union (BPCWU) have declared a deadlock over the upcoming retrenchment exercise.
Cleaners and security guards will lose their jobs in large numbers as their services are no longer needed by the corporation.
Speaking in an interview the Secretary General of BPCWU Bohithetswe Lentswe said the trade union is disappointed at the manner with which management is negotiating especially with regard to how the exit package for the retrenchment should be done.
He said since both parties are unable to find a common ground on the modalities of the exit this will delay the whole process of the retrenchment exercise.
The union has written several letters to management proposing that that they use the agreed exit package of 2012 but management has said the formula will be too expensive and therefore it should be revised.
Lentswe wondered why the Corporation is insisting with going ahead and rushing to enforce the retrenchment exercise if it does not have money since it can wait untill it gets enough funds.
“As the union we will not accept such a revision as proposed by BPC because they want to save their funds at the expense of workers so that at the end the day the workers become destitute,” said Lentswe.
He said over 100 employees are expected to be retrenched adding that the majority of those likely to be affected are cleaners and security guards as their services have been outsourced.
According to Lentswe, BPC wanted the retrenchment exercise to have kicked off either this month or next month.
“But I don’t foresee that happening because we have reached a deadlock. They are likely to start retrenching next year. One thing that I would like to warn BPC against is that we cannot allow them to rush us for no valid reason,” he said.
Lentswe said he hoped “BPC will come to its senses” and start negotiating in good faith in the interest of workers.
He hinted that this might not be the last retrenchment until the turnaround strategy, which started in 2013 comes to its end in 2018.
BPC spokesperson Sandy Mosarwa could only say “the negotiations are still ongoing.”
He said he was not in a position to discuss anything related to the retrenchment including allegations raised by the union.