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Never fight each other – unions urged

SHARE   |   Monday, 11 December 2017   |   By Shingirai Madondo
Never fight each other – unions urged

For the sake of employees, the fragmented labour movement in the country should never fight each other, the resident representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s Botswana chapter, Ulrich Golaszinski has said. In his opening speech during the 2017 Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting in Palapye, Golaszinski said reasons for the fragmented labour movement in the country are known.  Golaszinski said some in the country’s labour movement want to mend broken fences amongst the unions without acknowledging the reasons that led to the fragmentation. In many instances, Golaszinski said it is better for the labour movement to split into different organisations than to be artificially united. “Independent unions should never fight each other,” Golaszinski made the observation during the meeting held under the theme: Building workers’ power through lobbying and advocacy for second generation of human rights. Golaszinski added: “They (different independent unions) should show respect for each other and solidarity. Otherwise, they weaken the movement for very often selfish and personal reasons to enrich themselves.” He said union membership should stop selfish and self-centred individuals in their tracks before the situation gets out of hand. The membership should demand their leaders to stop the behaviour full of self-centredness, he said. “There is absolutely no acceptable reason for this behaviour and pointing (accusing) fingers and blaming each other is selfish behaviour not that of a trade unionist,” quipped the outspoken German national. BOPEU president Masego Mogwera concurred with Golaszinski, saying the trade union movement is under siege in Botswana. She lamented that the fragmentation of the movement has resulted with the employer enslaving the public workers. “No outsider will come to unite us if we cannot do that ourselves,” said Mogwera. BOPEU pulled out of the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Union (BOFEPUSU) in 2015. Mogwera urged trade unionists to be always vigilant of external forces and unscrupulous characters that are hell bent on causing divisions  and factions within the labor movement for their own selfish agendas.