The Botswana Gazette
Speaking at a press conference held on Monday at African Mall, the BNF labour secretary Maemo Bantsi said the labour movement in Botswana has of recent experienced a number of impromptu strikes as a result of unfair labour practices and failure by employers to pay a decent wage or even pay for overtime and for salary increases demanded by workers.
“This is a concern and we in the BNF would like to urge employers to negotiate in good faith and be able to increase salaries of workers for their hard labour and in some cases under extreme conditions,” he said.
Bantsi said BNF calls for a comprehensive study on remuneration of workers in Botswana in order to come with a comprehensive salary structure that will usher in a living wage.
“The issues confronting labour movement in Botswana requires concerted efforts by the labour movements and workers in general to radically change the status of the working class struggle and should not hope that the capitalists will one day feel sorry and give them in a silver platter, “ observed Bantsi.
He said since President Khama took over, the budget for defence has increased tremendously and the introduction of Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) has sent shivers down the spines of both political leaders and trade unionists alike therefore it was necessary for them to take action.
On Bargaining Council, Bantsi said BNF calls for the establishment of the Bargaining Council which should be up and running by now so that negotiations for salary increases could commence in earnest.
He said the failure by DPSM to ensure that this happens has created a situation where some unions have taken the matter to court.
“We urge the government to intervene to conclude the process because failure to do so will ensure that government continue denying over 90,000 public servants a decent increase for the future as it has been the case in the past three years ,“ he said.