The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs is fighting an eternal battle to try and mitigate the growing rate of labour disputes that are continuously flooding the labour offices.
Addressing the managers and supervisors workshop last week, the Field Officer North in the Department of Labour, Besinia Bestmore Buraga, ┬árevealed that in 2010 alone the Department of Labour registered 13 062 labour disputes most of which from the retail and distributive industries.
“From January 2011 to date, we have registered 5018 disputes some of which could have been resolved by managers or supervisors at the work place,” he said.
He added that the inspectorate has conducted 4 704 inspections and did business monitoring operations and out of these inspections 1 091 were in retail and whole distributive trade. He said that the inspection detected 1 313 labour procedure violations and added that these violations include non-payment of wages, failure to insure employees, violation of hours of work, rest days and failure to honour overtime benefits.
“You need to be aware that Botswana recently signed Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the programme commits our country to improve the quality of work life through addressing the socio dynamics critical to the condition of work,” he told the workshop.
He said to the participants that the DWCP is centred on four priorities; which are employment creation, social protection, social dialogue and protection of workers’ rights.
He reminded the managers and supervisors that it is their responsibility to ensure that employees’ work is decent in all aspects by simply drawing contracts that will accord their employees decent work.
“My department cannot do it alone, we need your undivided support,” Buraga said.
He concluded by urging the Managers and supervisors in the wholesale businesses as stakeholders to play an active role in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs to create a harmonious industrial relations in the country.
The objective of the workshop, which was held at Adonsonia Hotel, was to strengthen the relationship between the Department of Labour and Social and Security under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs with the retail and wholesale trade managers to see how they can better control the growing number of labour disputes.