Mmegi Online :: BMWU could relocate
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Last Updated
Tuesday 23 May 2017, 16:49 pm.
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BMWU could relocate

FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) is reportedly mulling relocating from its headquarters of Selebi Phikwe, in the wake of BCL Mine’s closure.
By Ryder Gabathuse Thu 22 Dec 2016, 14:34 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BMWU could relocate








The closure of the BCL Mine and its Tati Nickel Mining Company subsidiary last October left more than 5,000 members jobless and the ever-dwindling strength of the trade union equally slashed.

Mmegi sources said recently that now the debate inside BMWU, one of the oldest trade unions in the country lately has been to relocate the union headquarters closer to its members so to manage mine–related issues easily. Orapa and Palapye have been raised as possible favoured destinations to host the BMWU headquarters.

“We are contemplating relocating our union headquarters closer to one of the mines which is in operation now,” said the source without elaborating. The issue according to Mmegi sources will feature prominently at the union’s next general council to be held at a date to be announced.

The general council is one of the union’s highest decision-making bodies.

One of the issues raised was that whilst the trade union has satellite offices around, it was only logical that the headquarters should be where there are a good number of the members like it has been the case with the BCL mine which had nearly 4,000 members.

Reacting to the circulating rumour, BMWU vice president, Norman Kelaotswe yesterday indicated that the BMWU national executive committee will meet in January and if any members of the union leadership has such proposals, they will be considered.

Most importantly, Kelaotswe indicated that it was the union’s general council, which

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enjoys representation of all branches’ chairpersons and secretaries, which can debate issues of this nature on behalf of members.

Not withstanding Kelaotswe’s ignorance of the matter, he could not discount a possibility of the matter being raised given that BMWU is a dynamic movement with open-minded thinkers.

He decried a reality that the closure of both BCL and Tati has occasioned a huge loss in terms of monthly subscriptions, which are the backbone of the union’s finances.

He said the closure of the two mines has robbed BMWU of about over P200,000 monthly, which he said, could not be replaced by anything at the moment. The subscription loss comes on the heels of the closure of Aveng Moolmans, Mowana and DML mines, which had members who contributed to the union’s coffers.

“It’s a great loss to us but we have to stand up and mitigate against such losses,” said the optimistic Kelaotswe. Kelaotswe expressed hope that BCL and Tati mine operations could reopen, saying there was still potential for the mines to be operational again.

His optimism is particularly buoyed by the fact that the BCL Mine Polaris II turn around strategy is forward looking and envisages continuing operations at Selebi-Phikwe and the Selkirk mine at Tati.

“The alleged depletion of the copper ore body at both BCL and Tati is really a non-starter as the resource is still rich and profitable there,” Kelaotswe said.

 

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