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BOTSWANA MINE WORKERS UNION INTENTION TO PETITION BELA BELA QUARRIES MANAGEMENT AND DIRECTORS

•Bela Bela Quarries has launched an onslaught of threats via correspondences from its directors, white South Africans who have shown no regard whatsoever to their black workers conditions of service.
• Harassment, intimidation and victimization of union branch officials by management
•There are gross workers rights violations that are being perpetrated by Bela Bela.
•BMWU to hold mass demonstrations in the 25th September 2020 against Bela Bela Quarries.
BOTSWANA MINE WORKERS UNION INTENTION TO PETITION BELA BELA QUARRIES MANAGEMENT AND DIRECTORS
Botswana Mineworkers Union (BMWU) has resolved to petition Bela Bela Qarries (Pty) Ltd Management and its Directors on the 25th September 2020, following months of harassment, intimidation and victimization of union branch officials. The relationship between the Union and Bela Bela is worsening by the day, such that management has expressed its intention to terminate its collective labour agreement with the Union, despite the Union representing a 1/3 of the company’s bargaining unit.
BMWU and Bela Bela entered into and agreed to be bound by terms of their collective labour agreement which they signed on the 15 November 2018. Clause 1.1 of the agreement provides that parties will endeavor “to promote industrial peace, stability and fairness within the Company”. To date there has been no peace at Bela Bela which is evidenced by its spartan and contemptuous approach in how it deals with the Union, its officials and employees who are unionized. There are gross workers rights violations that are being perpetrated by Bela Bela. Bela Bela does not respect its collective labour agreement; flouts the law; does not respect the alternative dispute resolution mechanism. To be more specific, Bela Bela in the past two months has:
1. Has launched an onslaught of threats via correspondences from its directors, white South Africans who have shown no regard whatsoever to their black workers conditions of service.
2. Expressed its intention to terminate Union recognition agreement despites majority of its work force being members of BMWU.
3. Withheld BMWU membership subscriptions since June to date without explanation.
4. Refused to grant employees leave and/or releases as Union branch officials to take part in employee wage negotiations which have been pending since March 2019.
5. Refused and terminated the national executive committee members access to its premises to consult members.
Union branch official dismissed from work following months of harassment and intimation.
6. Accused NEC members of corporate espionage and dictated to the Union who they didn’t want to be part of the negotiating process against the terms of the collective agreement and Trade Unions and Employers Organization Act.
7. Intimidating and refusing with releases for its employees to engage in wage negotiation meetings.
8. Bela Bela being beyond reproach because of who its Local Directors are and whom they are affiliated.
BMWU membership has taken the decision to cause all its branches to hold a mass peaceful demonstration against Bela Bela Quarries Management and Directors to initiate a process to purge Bela Bela of conduct that is detrimental to the employer-employee relations in the quarries sector. The demonstration will be held in Gaborone on the 25th September 2020 and the petition will be handed to Hon. Minister of Employment Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Mr Mpho Balopi.
At the heart of this demonstration is the promotion of decent work in the mining and quarries sector.
We call on the:
Media to support to workers rights in the mining and quarries sector.
Botswana Chamber of Mines to intervene against its member and call for an amicable resolution of this matter.
Enforcement of the provisions of the Trade Dispute and Trade Unions Act against management in mining and quarries sector.
For further information contact:
Joseph Tsimako
President
Tel: +267 2610693/ Cell +267 72927076
Maenge Maenge
General Secretary
Tel: +267 2610693
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