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.