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BOFEPUSU Condemns CAAB For Withholding Allowances

PINI BOTHOKO
Ketlhalefile Motshegwa
Botswana Federation of Public, Private Parastatals Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has condemned Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana’s (CAAB) decision to withhold its employees’ payment of allowances for the month of May.

BOFEPUSU’s deputy secretary-general, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa said it was a bad labour practice for CAAB to withhold payment benefits of employees.The concern follows CAAB’s memorandum dated May 13, 2020 in which the company’s CEO, Kabo Phutietsile announced the company’s decision to withhold this month’s allowances.

In the letter, Phutietsile said, “Employees are informed that some allowances due to staff shall not be paid during the May 2020 payroll as they are still in the approval process.

The decision to not include them in the May payroll was so that they do not delay the whole cycle, which might cause salaries to be paid late. Affected employees will be engaged accordingly through their heads of sections/directorates”.

Commenting on the matter Motshegwa said even though CAAB employees are not their members some employees have raised the concern with them, displeased with the employer’s decision.

Motshegwa said CAAB’s decision cannot be tolerated. He said like BOFEPUSU pointed out before, there must be measures in place to assist the workers by way of protecting their jobs and salaries.

“It is the duty of the employers to continue paying employees. The federation is tremendously disquieted by unabating violation of workers’ rights in private sector during (the

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coronavirus) COVID-19 pandemic,” Motshegwa said.

Motshegwa raised a concern that there are some ruthless and vicious companies that are making drastic and prejudicial decisions aggravatingly affecting employees, without even involving them or their unions.

He added that to these bases the federation has called on government to institute through inspectorate processes for compliance with labour laws and policies as part of intensifying measures of protecting workers during COVID-19.

He revealed to have made submission for creation of Botswana Unemployment Insurance Scheme (BUIS), which the employer can process for tabling at Parliament by the Minister of Employment Productivity and Skills Development.

Furthermore, he added with guidance from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) reference can be made to unemployment insurance schemes around the world for evidence and policy options.

“This scheme is important in an economy like ours for protection of employees against the risk of job loss, as the intervention provides income support conditional on some job search requirement or participation in active labour market policies. It is fundamentally urgent to enhance the country’s policy framework on social security, social protection, and social justice for the welfare of the workers and the citizens of this country,” he said.



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