'Trade unions break the law'

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 17 November 2015   |   By Keitebe Kgosikebatho
Batshu Batshu

Offending trade unions, which continue to fail to comply with requirements of the law, will be punished after government put in place measures to monitor them, Minister of  Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Batshu has said. Speaking at the inaugural BOFEPUSU fundraising gala dinner on Friday in Gaborone, Batshu said he appointed  an investigator back in 2012 to investigate   unions  following  complaints  from members of different trade unions to his office. “Consequently, 14 Trade Unions and 1 Trade Union Federation  were investigated.

The findings of the investigator pointed to general non-compliance with the law by unions,” he said.
Following the investigation measures were then put in place to ensure compliance, Batshu said, adding that in the process some trade unions  have had to be deregistered. He however  applauded BOFEPUSU affiliates for their increased compliance  with  the law. “I would like to urge you to continue to uphold the law, ”said Batshu.
Batshu said Botswana respects the role  and contribution  of the labour movement as partners in the development process. “Respect for freedom  of association and the right  to collective bargaining as enshrined in the core standards  of the ILO is fully  consistent with our country’s respect for democracy and the rule  of law,” said Batshu. He said there are a lot of success stories that can be told  about the labour  movement in this country, which include fostering international cooperation and networking, wider coverage of  workers and social responsibility activities taken by unions.
BOFEPUSU Labour Secretary, Johnson Motshwarakgole said the federation intends to be proactive in bettering the local labour force. He cited the establishment of  industrial councils as one of the developments they intend on embarking on in their efforts to organise the labour force across the country.
He said although he acknowledges that trade unions need  and should generate funds to execute their mandate. He warned that unions should never be run like business enterprises but rather should strive to defend and represent workers. “BOFEPUSU wants to educate and inform workers about their rights rather than use money to entice them,” he said.

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