The president of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Dumelang Saleshando, says trade unions must act decisively and take additional steps to prevent multinational corporations from defrauding Botswana by paying them slave wages.
In his closing remarks of the BOPEU Executive Central Committee (CEC) meeting which was held recently in Francistown, the former Gaborone Central legislator said “When these companies get to Botswana, they pay less than half of what they pay in South Africa. I think we have reached a point where we have to say this has to stop.”
He also said there is need to rein in on multinationals and stop them from exploiting workers by paying them minimum wages instead of living wages. Amongst other things, he urged Unions to move drastically and make sure that government ushers in a living wage policy.
“Local workers of these foreign firms have to be assisted to understand that the companies can afford and have demonstrated that they have the capacity to pay more than half of what they pay them,” said Saleshando. In what he described as “anarchy” by multinationals, the BCP leader noted that ineffective laws are partly to blame and said unions must advocate on behalf of workers.
Former suspended High Court Judge, Key Dingake also shared the same sentiments as Saleshando and underscored the need for firms to pay employees living wages. “Slave wages are known to undermine economic growth. The wage regime should not in any way imperil the development of the country,” said the concerned Dingake.
Saleshando also poked holes in governments failure to come up with laws which compels all employers in Botswana to have pension schemes. “There ought to be a social welfare system that does not reduce workers into beggars when they retire,” said Saleshando.