Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Job losses fear as BPC undergoes restructuring

All is not well at the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) as employees feel that they have been left in the lurch following the power utility’s pending corporate restructuring exercise. The ongoing internal restructuring exercise commenced in 2015 and is meant to improve organisational efficiency and productivity

The Secretary General of Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union (BPCWN), Bahithetswe Lentswe, said the union is aware of some jobs that have become obsolete or outsourced due to technological changes. Owing to the said developments, Lentswe confirmed that sometime in mid-2014 BPC informed the union of the possibility of employees being retrenched or some jobs becoming redundant.

“The union is of the view that job losses should be avoided at all cost. Some of the workers should be redeployed,” he said.

Lentswe suggests that those who are trainable should be re-trained and be redeployed and those who are nearing their retirement could be given early retirement packages. He further confirmed that the process will definitely lead to job losses, but urged the process to be managed well.

Lentswe stated that since the restructuring exercise began, workers affected, or who may be affected have been traumatised as no one knows when the actual retrenchment will commence. Amongst other things, he also added that the whole process is frustrating employees as those who “may be affected” are denied the opportunity to take loans from the banks.

“The Union is also frustrated by the development. Our view as the union is that BPC Management is not handling the process well and not in line with the provisions of Section 25 of the Employment Act,” Lentswe said.

He accused the management of disregarding the fact that workers who “may be affected” still have valid employment contracts with BPC making them eligible to all benefits and services just like the rest of the workers. “We call upon management to continue assisting some of these employees, particularly for purposes of acquiring loans at the banks,” he stated.

BPC Marketing and Communications Officer Sandy Mosarwa, however, downplayed any chances of job losses stating: “We kindly inform you that at this moment the Corporation’s management cannot confirm nor deny any ongoing internal processes of restructuring.”

Sunday Standard is also reliably informed that BPC Chief Executive Officer, Jacob Raleru, who currently does not have anybody deputising him will get two deputy CEOs to assist him in the new structure and new General Manager’s portfolios.

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