The Secretary General of Manual Workers Union, Johnson Motshwarakgole, has condemned leaders of government parastatals in the country for liking to sideline Trade Unions whilst discussing serious issues pertaining to the interest of their employees, such as exit packages, leading to Court cases which they always lose at a great expenses in legal costs to parastatals themselves and the tax payers.
His comments follow after several parastatals, namely Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (BTC), Botswana Power Corporation and, most recently, the Botswana Postal Services (BotswanPost), all lost cases in which they had wanted to sideline Unions when negotiating early exit packages.
According to him, this is borne by the fact that the parastatal bosses have no regard for the existence of Trade Unions in the country and that they, in fact, see them as a hindrance to do what they would have preferred.
“All these people would like to be regarded as semi gods after they have attained high positions in the parastatals and would like to do as they please and every time workers and Unions complain, they are seen as a hindrance that should be got rid of,” he said.
Motshwarakgole further said that he wonders why the chairpersons of the parastatals and even the Ministry of Finance and Development, which is subsidising these loss making parastatals, are quiet about this misuse of taxpayer’s money.
“I am surprised that this waste has been allowed to continue unabated for such a long time by the Ministry of Finance,” he observed.
“I think they should put a stop to this waste, more especially when the same parastatals are now retrenching people because of lack of money. The question is where then do they get the money to waste in these useless cases?” he asked rhetorically.
He said that some of the parastatals even go to the extent of wanting to pay less than the amount the government has set to pay as exit packages when the money is not theirs but the government’s money. This, he said, is nothing but pure arrogance on their part.
“The only explanation for this behaviour is arrogance, which I think should not be allowed,” he stressed.
Motshwarakgole further said that he believes more similar cases from the remaining parastatals will soon reach the Courts as the parastatal bosses seems to be bent on trampling on the workers.
“I foresee more of similar cases in Courts very soon as parastatal bosses seem keen on trampling on workers’ rights,” he said.