Prisons Services To Unionise: BOFEPUSU and the trade Union movement in Botswana in general are celebrating a monster victory against Botswana government’s decision to enact repressive Labour laws chief among them, the Public Service Act that would have taken away the striking rights of all Public service workers.
The International Labour Organisation finally reigned on Botswana on Thursday, following deliberations by the Botswana workers representatives, BOFEPUSU, BFTU and their international partners at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland last week.
The Prisons Service has also been liberated by the ILO to unionise. Government of Botswana has been ordered to report back to the ILO November 2017 meeting on the progress with regard to implementation of the orders.
In a statement BOFEPUSU celebrated the victory stating that the mere fact that Botswana made it to the short list (top 24), of the countries that are regarded as gross violators of core conventions of ILO , “ vindicates us in what we, as BOFEPUSU have always complained of and warned against.
BOFEPUSU has always warned that Botswana is regressing in terms of withholding democratic principles and credentials that it has been known for in the last 45 years, including respect of workers rights and international laws that the country has ratified”. The BOFEPUSU statement further says the government of the day should really be embarrassed for having taken the country this far to an extent of finding yourselves as a country being grilled at the 106th ILO conference level.
With respect to the conclusions of the Committee of Application of Standards on Botswana’s violation of convention 87, BOFEPUSU said, “we totally
This is victory for workers as the conclusion calls upon Botswana to review the Trade Dispute Act that categorizes almost all the workers in Botswana as essential service. This shows how BOFEPUSU the Federation is so patriotic by protecting and defending the democracy and rule of law in Botswana.
In its conclusion the ILO Committee of Application of Standards calls upon the government of Botswana to take appropriate measures that would ensure that the Prisons Service is allowed to unionize hence acting in consonance with the dictates of Convention 87.
It calls upon the government of Botswana to amend the Trade Dispute Act to ensure that it is in conformity with Convention 87
The Committee also calls upon the government of Botswana to amend Trade Unions and Employers’ Organization Act to harmonize it with all other employment statutes with the assistance of ILO High Level Technical Committee of the ILO. The government of Botswana to continue work with the High Level ILO Technical Committee for a holistic review of the labour laws in Botswana to align them with international standards.
The government of Botswana should develop a time bound action plan towards carrying out these recommendations.
The government of Botswana should report back on the progress in implementing the aforementioned recommendations before the November 2017 meeting.