Botswana Transport and Allied Workers Union (BOTRAWU) through its lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae is expected to file a case demanding a total of P3,591,494.40 in back pay for 28 of the 35 fired Grindrod Petrologistics employees who worked on rest days.
The figure is expected to rise as calculations are yet to be made for the other seven employees. This comes after the company failed to respond to the Union’s demand letter that the employees were “overworked” nor were payments made.
According to a letter dated November 20, 2015 from the Union chairman Kgomotso Panye to the general manager of the company, all the employees have been given contracts stating that they work 26 days against the Employment Act, which states that employees should work 22 days in a month. This means the employees worked four extra days each month.
“Be advised; your honoured office is therefore given two days to have resolved the matter and also be advised that third party (legal action) will be engaged as we think your office is not taking the matter very serious,” the letter reads in part. A similar letter was sent to the company on October 28, but the company management did not respond.
According to documents passed to Mmegi, one worker who served for over 11 years is owed P385,043.20. The one owed the least money is expected to walk away with P17,818.08
Ngakaagae is already tasked with suing on behalf of the 35 employees for unfair dismissal. The employees were dismissed last month after they were found guilty of stealing petrol from their employer. They are however contending that the company acted in bad faith, as it had always wanted to retrench.
In a related matter, BOTRAWU emerged victorious in an almost similar matter before labour department when their member Bogosi Otsogile was awarded in default against former employer Mokoka’s Transport. Otsogile who has since passed away was awarded a total of P59,081.75 for unfair dismissal, paid public holidays, rest days and overtime.
According to official papers, following a referral of the matter to the labour department in April, a date for mediation was set for November 11 after a number of postponements and the respondent failed to attend hence the default award. The respondent is to pay by the end of this month.