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BPC wins against Manual Workers Union

FRANCISTOWN: The National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union (NALCGPWU) has lost its case against the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union (BPCWU) respectively.

Amongst the main reliefs it sought, the NALCGPWU wanted the court to urgently grant it recognition to enable it to participate on behalf of its members in proceedings before the High Court.

It also wanted to be granted recognition urgently to enable it to bargain with the first respondent regarding the ongoing retrenchment and or favourable retrenchment package.

The court agreed with the respondents’ attorneys that the applicant was aware of the matter in April, but did not take any action by then.

Therefore ,it said the urgency is self-created and cannot be sustained as the applicant had sought. “In my considered view, this matter is all about packages and nothing else. Some of the applicant’s members knew about the retrenchment when they were still members of the second respondent,” said Justice Christian Diwanga.

Passing ruling on Friday, Justice Diwanga of the Francistown Industrial Court said the court, having found that these circumstances do not render the matter urgent means that the applicant has failed to satisfy the first limb of Section 25 (5) of the Trade Disputes Act.

“As it is trite law that both requirements of the section must be satisfied and the applicant having failed to satisfy the requirements that the matter is urgent, it is not necessary

for me to consider the averments made in respect of the reasons why the applicant claims it will not be afforded substantial redress in due course,” said Diwanga.

He continued: “…Section 32(1) of the Trade Disputes Act provides that costs should not be awarded by the court, except against a party held to have acted frivolously or vexatiously or with deliberate delay in the bringing or defending of a proceeding.

The court, Diwanga said, came to the determination that the application is not urgent and is accordingly dismissed with no costs to the application.

The applicant has previously argued that if the court does not grant its members the reliefs they sought, they will be prejudiced in another involving them and the respondents, which is before Justice Tshepo Motswagole. The case centres around retrenchment packages.

NALCGPWU was of the view that if the current matter is dispensed with in the normal course, its members will get unfavourable retrenchment packages since they will lose the benefits of being union members.

The court heard that so far more than 300 workers have been retrenched and more are still going the way of their former colleagues..

Attorneys Nelson Ramaotwana and Onalethata Kambai represented the applicant while Moemedi Tafa represented BPC. Paul Mudzimo represented BPCWU.




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