Galane Gold Mine employees are currently at loggerheads with their mine management after it announced late in January this year that it will shed off jobs as it will be outsourcing some of its services.
The management announced that it will be shedding over 90 jobs as a cost cutting exercise. The main reason given by the mine is that its earth moving and hauling equipment is expensive to maintain and it is unserviceable.
┬áThe employees held demonstrations last week and served a petition to the management on Thursday demanding that the General Manager, Lawrence Manjengwa, step down as he is failing the employees and the mine.
The employees further accused the mine of shedding jobs in a quest for profits.
Reading the petition to the management, Thuso Raditsebe, the Branch Chairperson of Botswana Miners Workers Union (BMWU) at the mine said that in their view, retrenchments could be avoided had the company planned and budgeted for midlife service equipment.
“We strongly believe that retrenchments can still be avoided if the company accepts to buy new equipment or overhauls existing ones. It frustrates us to note that our suggestions in this regard have been totally disregarded,” he said.
Raditsebe also raised his concern saying that although the mine has made profits in the past year, it has finally chosen to demonstrate to them that it cares little about them. He accused the mine of undermining citizen contractors. Raditsebe further accused the management of contracting foreign companies, mainly from Zimbabwe, although there are local citizen companies that can be contracted to benefit the citizens.
“Just in 2012 the mine cancelled its contract with Fourie Investment (PTY) Ltd, a citizen-owned company from doing its operations and its departure has dropped production significantly,” he said.
He further accused management of employing a huge number of Zimbabwean nationals while there are locals with the same skills. He raised worries saying that although the mine has pledged to localize most of its positions at managerial level, the posts are still dominated by foreigners.
“Your management is also unable to communicate company performance to employees. ┬áThe economic and business situation or productivity of the company is not communicated to us as partners in the operation,” he said.