FRANCISTOWN: The acrimonious relationship between Moolman Mining Botswana (PTY) Limited and Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has hit an all time low as the former closes shop, resulting in more than 500 job losses.
Recently, Moolman wrote to BMWU informing them that they intend to terminate contracts of employees due to the closing down of its operations at Tati Nickel Mining Company’s Phoenix Mine.
The letter dated February 11, written by Moolman Human Resources Manager, Daniel Matlhodi and addressed to BMWU, reads in part: “This has unfortunately become necessary following the expiry of our mining contract on December 31, 2015 and failure to secure an extended contract for 2015.
“We have exhausted all commercial options whereby we could continue mining despite retaining a presence at Phoenix Mine without a contract since January 1, 2016.
This is not sustainable and we accordingly have no option but to commence with site closure.”
In the letter, Matlhodi invited BMWU to a meeting scheduled for
Mbiganyi Ramokate, the BMWU general secretary, expressed shock about the impending development.
Ramokate said Moolman had a tendency to implement decisions without informing the union, which was tantamount to bad labour relations.
“We received the letter on Thursday and we are very shocked about its contents,” he said.
“We want Moolman to consult us when taking any decisions that directly affect the welfare of our members.”
Recently, the BMWU took Moolman to court over unfair labour practices.
However, Moolman won the court case after industrial court judge, Christian Diwanga, ruled that the matter was not urgent. Justice Diwanga then advised BMWU to bring the matter to court in a normal way.