Saturday, May 28, 2022

Online poll says govt. badly handled strike

The government failed the expectation of the majority in the manner with which it handled the public sector strike action, an online poll reveals.

Responding to the question ‘Has the government of Botswana reacted appropriately to strike action by public servants?’, the majority who visited our sister paper, the Sunday Standard online poll said no.

Of a total of 5884 who participated in the poll, 86 percent said no, 13 percent said yes while one percent could not say.

What was initially planned to be a ten-day strike action by the country’s civil servants dragged into an indefinite action that lasted two months as the government failed to accede not only to demands by the five public sector unions but also scoffed at mediation efforts by the civil society and former President Sir Ketumile Masire to end the strike. The strike was suspended by the unions to avert personal injury and property damage following isolated incidences of violence that were met by armed police reaction. ┬á

The five public sector unions meet at special congress this weekend to re-strategize, possibly continue the suspended strike, which has left the health and education sectors badly affected.

The government has offered no more than 3 percent salary increases from its initial zero percent while unions were asking for about 12 percent from 16 percent increase.

The exact impact of this strike on the economy has still to be quantified.

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