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Tlhagale rebukes Parliament for making unjust laws

Publishing Date : 15 August, 2017


The President of the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU), Salumba Jack Tlhagale says the Government of Botswana makes unjust laws which do not protect the rights of the workers. In his May Day message, Tlhagale charged that “parliament makes bad laws” which forms the hallmarks of a brutal Government that has successfully dehumanised its own people.

The Union boss cited the Essential Service law under which the Government has classified a number of occupations as essential, legislating them to have special restrictions in regard to labour actions. The law strips the workers under these profession of their right to strike. Trade unions unanimously feel the essential service law has the echoes of a first class dictatorship in an effort choke off resistance from workers fighting for their rights.

In the United Kingdom in 2010, the trade union movement accused Government of declaring war against the workers after the Government proposed that a set number of union members would have to vote before there can be permitted to strike. Trade unions retaliated proposing that the bar must also be raised for all parliamentary candidates who seek political office by increasing the number votes for them to secure their seats.

The BMWU president also cited Section 25 of the Employment Act which he say lacks provision for retrenchment packages. He points out that the Government is less caring citing the closure of BCL and Tati Nickel mine as examples of Government’s brutality to its people.
Tlhagele advocates for building of stronger trade unions that will scream in unison for the voice of the workers to be heard. He calls for a sustainable industrial policy that will address the issue of low wages and job insecurity coupled with joblessness.

“Decent jobs are being eroded together with their sources,” he says. He notes fragmentation of the workplace and casualization of labour as one of the problems threatening the livelihood of the workers. He also points out that “the menace of privatisation and outsourcing” has caused the disappearance of meaningful work and loss of employee benefits. He also posits that trade unions are going through a tough trying times, pointing out that union rivalries starts from within. He warns against internal rivalries where there is leadership in-fighting and the third force infiltration.

He also warns trade unions to be wary of the inside heckler who causes instability from within. He says that the inside heckler betray other comrades’ desire to enter into healthy engagements with Government, a development that he says compromises the trade union position.



Do you think the closure of BCL will compel SPEDU to double their efforts in creating job opportunities in the Selibe Phikwe?