BOFEPUSU to embark on nationwide demonstrations

-          Molale refuses to meet union leaders

-          State purging union leaders

-          BOFEPUSU resolves to report Bots to ILO


The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) will in April engage in countrywide demonstrations to protest efforts by Government to reverse the gains made by labour.

It has also lambasted a decision by Government to introduce a unilateral 3% increment for non- unionized members of the public service as an attempt to sabotage union membership and undermine the role played by union leaders in the negotiation of salary increments.

"After the 2011 Industrial Action Government in 2012 moved swiftly and vigorously to take away the union deduction codes. The taking away of the deduction codes for trade unions is tantamount to switching off their lifeblood, which is an attack on Convention 87," observed Tobokani Rari, Secretary General of BOFEPUSU.

He said, "Government is continuously purging union leaders. The Secretary General of BBLAWHU was dismissed from the public service targeting him for being a union leader. It's an attack on Convention 87. The President of the Federation was unlawfully transferred to the Ministry outside the scope of organization of his trade union to make not eligible to contest for the Presidency of BTU and by extension disqualifying him from being BOFEPUSU President."

Government is also reportedly employing its parliamentary majority to amend legislation to reverse progressive pieces of labour legislation. For example, the Trade Dispute act which has now being extended to include cadres of workers regarded as essential services outside ILO framework.

The Public Service Act has also been amended to make composition of the secretariat of the Public Service Bargaining Council(PSBC) the prerogative of the Minister, in violation of Conventions 98 and 151 of the ILO. Convention 98 deals with the right to organize and collective bargaining whilst convention 151 deals with labour relations in the public service.

But Eric Molale, incumbent Minister for Presidential Affairs, who lost parliamentary bye elections in Goodhope/Mabule constituency in August 2015, refuses to meet union leaders. Molale's arrogance in dealing with union leaders is causing rising animosity against the ruling BDP.

"Molale simply refuses to meet us," fumed Johnson Motshwarakgole, BOFEPUSU Labour Secretary. He said, "I have met Mabeo whose Ministry I am not able to state already twice but we are unable to meet Molale to share our concerns with him. We have a leader who is not elected by anyone but effectively runs the Government."

BOFEPUSU has revealed it has submitted a report to the ILO to report the Government's violation of ILO conventions and will be gearing up to take an active role in the 2019 general elections, in an co-ordinated effort to punish those political leaders it regards as anti-labour

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