BMWU suspends Phikwe branch officials

Labour woes: senior unionist have been suspended in Selibe Phikwe
Labour woes: senior unionist have been suspended in Selibe Phikwe

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has suspended the chairman, secretary and treasurer of its Selebi-Phikwe branch for failure to account for funds.

BMWU deputy president and spokesperson, Joseph Tsimako said the three officials, who are the signatories to the branch’s books, failed to account for P10,000 the branch was given in December 2013 for administrative expenses.

He said all branches are allocated P10,000 every month to run their affairs and are required to account for the expenditure before the next allocation can be made.

“They failed to account for the money and that means no allocation could be made to the branch until the committee fully accounts,” Tsimako said.

“As a result, the Selebi-Phikwe branch has not been receiving the monthly funds for the whole of last year and the office has been suffering. Even if the branch was allocated funds, there are no signatories (because the three officers are suspended),” he explained.

Tsimako said the branch committee was given up to November last year to account for the funds, and failed. “We had to suspend and investigate them because we are charged with the responsibility to look after our members’ assets. Necessary action will be taken once investigations are complete and if they are cleared of wrongdoing, then they will be reinstated,” he said. He added that the National Executive Committee recently called a general meeting to update unionists on the matter.

Meanwhile, Tsimako said the union recently met with BCL Mine management to discuss issues of safety, in the wake of three fatal accidents last year.

“During a meeting our members raised serious safety concerns such as excessive heat underground, long working hours, compromised quality of protective clothing as well as the hiring of too many casual labourers,” he said. Tsimako said the mine has promised to investigate and report back to the NEC.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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