Mmegi Online :: BMWU urges govt to upskill ex-BCL employees
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Last Updated
Thursday 21 September 2017, 12:09 pm.
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BMWU urges govt to upskill ex-BCL employees

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) officials want the government to move swiftly and upskill some of the over 4,500 employees who were laid off as a result of the liquidation of the mines under the BCL group.
By Chakalisa Dube Fri 08 Sep 2017, 17:05 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BMWU urges govt to upskill ex-BCL employees








BCL and Tati Nickel Mining Company (TNMC), the two mines under the BCL group, were liquidated late last year due to cash flow problems.

Upskilling the former employees will ensure that they fit the profile of employees wanted by companies that set up in Selebi-Phikwe.

According to senior mine officials, the demand to up skill the workers was made to government by union officials during a closed door meeting with the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Sadique Kebonang last week.

“Majority of employees who worked at BCL were trained to work within a mining environment. If there is no upskilling done chances are that they are likely not to secure employment in companies that set up in Selebi-Phikwe,” said BMWU president Jack Tlhagale.

He continued; “In closing the mines government should create employment to assist the former employees to survive or start a new life”.

Tlhagale said that institutions such as vocational education should be used to upskill some of the former BCL employees.

This week BMWU general secretary, Mbiganyi Ramokate also issued a communication to former employees detailing a series of demands made to Kebonang (regarding the BCL debacle) during the closed-door meeting.

As part of their demands the union leaders also requested the government to apply the terms of the ‘retrenchment agreement’ (it has with the

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mine) to settle outstanding benefits of the 4,500 workers.

The union also avered that the matter pertaining to retrenchment packages should be resolved amicably between parties (government and the union).

“It is pleasing to note that the minister accepted most of the points as reasonable and appropriate,” read a communication to former BCL group employees this week.

BMWU also want the conditions of employment of the care and maintenance crew at BCL mine to be reviewed in order to afford them special conditions that are in line with their engagements.

In addition, the union also pleaded with the minister to review a lease agreement signed with BCL employees. The lease elapses in six months.

Furthermore, the union wants the retrenched employees to continue benefiting from BCL houses while awaiting outcomes of engagements between the government and the union to conclude.

As part of their demands the BMWU also requested that the government should pay wages and medical costs of those who were injured on duty until due process has been completed.

The union also want the government to explore ways that can be undertaken to assist BCL employees clear their outstanding loans minus interest.

Kebonang was not readily available for comment as he was outside the country. He is expected to respond to the demands of the union on September 20.

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