Botswana Diamond Sorters Valuators Union (BDSVU) has accused the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) management of using stalling techniques and power play to exhaust the striking workers to a point where they will give into management’s resolve.
“The union is still and shall remain committed to see an end to the strike. We are coming up with ways to mitigate what they are trying to do. It’s clear that our membership is prepared to go all the way to have their demands met,” said Jacob Mpasopi, General Secretary of BDSVU.
Arguably the longest industrial strike in Botswana, 10 straight days so far, the BDSVU said that by Monday the strike at DTCB will continue.
On Friday, the Union had met with management with hopes that they would reach an agreement of sorts but nothing concrete came out of it. During the meeting, Mpasopi said that management of DTCB kept proposing the issue of arbitration; he said that their membership said they would only consider arbitration if management lifted its ‘no work no pay rule’.
The general secretary said that there had been no progress made in the talks between them and management since April 2010 thus resulting in the strike which, dates back to the 11th of October 2010.
He said that the union met management on the 13th to submit a revised offer, which they hoped would finally bring an end to the strike judging by the compromises they made.
The union has placed 7.5 percent on cost of living adjustment but management did not want to change its 6 percent. The Union had initially requested 3 percent and managed to reduce it to 2.5 percent on merit award while management did not change on its 2.15 percent. The union had requested P950 for gas and transport and reduced it to P800 but management would not budge on its P250.
“The union has, therefore, as a result of this stalemate sought intervention from the minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe as well as President Ian Khama in an effort to end the dispute,” said Mpasopi.
He said that the minister had advised both parties to continue with the negotiations to find the solution, while the union is still waiting to hear from the President.