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Botswana Can Learn From South Africa On Cordial Relations With Labour Movement

MONITOR EDITOR
In developed countries, the Labour movement is not only seen as representative a of workers’ rights. It is seen as a key stakeholder in formulating labour laws and policies, and conditions of service.

They draft many of these policies and conditions of service. In fact they initiate them, lobby for their adoption and go as far as helping government to implement the suggestions, not only for public service workers, but for the entire labour force of a country.

As such in many of these developed countries, the Labour movement has come to be embraced by their governments as the guiding light, as reservoirs of knowledge and advise on pertinent labor issues. What is interesting is that the Labour Movement in these developed countries is not seen as a rival force by their governments, but as an integral part of their democracy and decision-making.

As a upper middle-income country today Botswana government’s relations with its own Labour Movement appears to be worsening by the day. We have many numerous court cases, very recent ones, to attest to this unhealthy state of affairs.

We need a paradigm shift as government with regard to this, since there is no deliberate policy, or action that indicates government’s willingness to correct this dangerous policy of sidelining the Labour Movement or wanting to even kill them.

 Recent actions by the Labour movement especially

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in courts of Law, where they have countless cases against government regarding the Labour Movement’s rights, are not demonstrative of cordial and healthy relations. By now Botswana government’s relations with the Labour movement should be in sync with the rest of the progressive democracies and first world. It is a contradiction that a country that had signed so much statues of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) can today be seen to be trampling on them with impunity as if they regret the day they were forced to sign those laws. We yearn for a time when we will be writing good and positive stories about the Botswana Government and its country’s Labour Movement. 

We yearn for a time when   the two parties will not be seeing each other as enemy forces and saboteurs. We yearn for a time when the government will not view the Labour movement with suspicion; when they will not be viewed as forces of regime change and anti-establishment instruments; when the time for bargaining for public service workers will not be used as point scoring opportunity, each party doing its best to frustrate the other.



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