Tuesday, January 19, 2021

‘We were here before party politics’ – Unions

Union leaders in Botswana have rubbished President Ian Khama’s allegations that they are now dabbling into party politics, saying that they are only concerned with engaging government on the rights of workers.

“Where do they get the right to tell us what to say and what not to say? We were here before them. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) was formed in 1962, the Botswana National Front (BNF) came about in 1965 and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) was formed in 1998, while the Union was formed in 1837,” said Pelotshweu Baeng, president of the Botswana Land Board and Local Authorities Workers Union.

He said that the time has passed for the union movement to stand by and not fight for their rights, adding that they are willing to stand up to fight for the rights of the workers who work hard for this country but are never recognised for their efforts.

Organising Secretary of the Manuel Workers’ Union, Johnson Motshwaragole, said that the Union is not a political party nor does it affiliate itself with any political party.

He said that the union has a duty to fight for the workers’ rights regardless of which party is in control of government.

“Frankly, we don’t care who is in power, as long as the current government addresses the needs of the workers, whose rights we as the Union advocate for, and then we will have no issues with them. Whether BNF or BCP takes over tomorrow, it really doesn’t matter, because we would expect them to make a stand on how workers in this country should be treated,” said Motshwaragole.

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