Friday, May 20, 2022

ILO disowns controversial federation

The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) seems headed for an uphill battle after being deregistered by the Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions and Employers Organizations last week, on the basis that the federation did not comply with the relevant requirements.

It became apparent at the occasion of the United Nations International Labour Organization-sponsored workshop on Decent Work Agenda Country programme, where some government officials proposed the use of “workers organizations” in place of “Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU)” in the course of reviewing both the content and the typography of minutes of the previous DWACP workshop, so as to adopt a more accommodative tone.

After a round of arguments on the matter, ILO Deputy Director, Joni Musabayana based at the Pretoria Office, cleared the mist.

“It must be noted that there are very stringent measures regarding the recognition of unions and federations by the ILO, presided over and facilitated by the Registrar in the local context and finally approved by ACTRAV in Geneva,” said Musabayana.

All relevant operations and documentation are therefore informed by that recognition.

So, as far as these are concerned, Musabayana pointed out that, “Our principal partner is the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) on the part of workers, whilst the Botswana Chamber of Commerce and Industry Manpower (BOCCIM) remains the only ILO recognized national centre for employers in the country.”

To show the seriousness of the issue, BOFEPUSU was not invited to the workshop despite the fact that they participated at the first one, which took place in September 2008 amid protest by the BFTU.

Explaining the lack of invitation, Segakweng Tsiane, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs (MLHA) told the Sunday Standard that, “they have been struck off the Registrar’s book and, accordingly, advised to meet the outstanding requirements”.

She, however, stated that once the federation has acted their part then certainly there will be no reason not to register them.


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