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Ericsson Faces Labour 'Unfair Dismissal' Dispute

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Ericsson employees outside Labour offices
About 20 workers of leading network and telecommunications company Ericsson (AB Botswana) have taken their employer to the Department of Labour over what they term ‘unfair dismissal’.

This came after the company gave the employees notice of retrenchment early this year. It is said that the employees are part of the staff that were adopted by Ericsson from Orange Botswana back in 2014 when the duo signed a contract for management and field maintenance of Orange Botswana’s network infrastructure.

Information passed on to The Monitor is that the company then informed the workers about the impending retrenchment, as its contract with Orange Botswana has not been renewed.

The contract is set to end in August 2020. However, a dispute emerged between the employees and their employer over the retrenchment package proposition.

Some of the issues emanating from the dispute include non-disclosure of information, failure to agree on negotiation rules and non-compliance with retrenchment process.

“Without following the proper procedures laid down by Labour, Ericsson has proceeded to the employees package propositions before any proper consultation and

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retrenchment processes are done,” a source said. The source said employees were given an option of voluntary exit, which required them to work until August 13, 2020. 

“The employees took the matter to Labour because they felt that the manner in which the retrenchment process is being done is unjust, unfair and not done in good faith,” the source added.  

Further, the source said the case was supposed to have been heard on April 29, 2020, but was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The source has also linked the current Orange network problems to the dispute. 

At the time of going to print, Ericsson’s representative, Riyaz Shaikh did not take our calls. Earlier on, he had said he was not the right person to respond on the matter, but asked to be given an email address to which the company would route its response.



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