Mupane miners threaten strike action

Mupane mine PIC: MINING.COM
Mupane mine PIC: MINING.COM

FRANCISTOWN: Tension between Mupane Gold Mine employees and their employer seems to be far from over. The mine employees are now threatening that they will soon embark on a strike after talks over wage increases with their employer reached an impasse, early this month.

The salary talks were led by the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU). The union has 111 members at Mupane Mine. It had proposed a 13% salary increase for its members against the four percent tabled by the mine management. “We were willing to settle for eight percent of the 13 we demanded but we did not reach an agreement with the mine management. The management maintained that the mine's financial position means that management can only afford a four percent increase, while the union held a contrary view,” BMWU general-secretary Maenge Maenge said in an interview yesterday.

He said the negotiations initially included salary increases as well as provision of other monetary benefits such as shift and housing allowances. “The union leadership later reached a compromise and chose to solely focus on salary increases. The salary increase is necessary because we believe that it will cushion our members against the cost of living which is rising steeply,” Maenge explained. The general-secretary further said the union is still observing a 30-day cooling off period which started on December 2, 2021, which comes to an end in January. Under the cooling period, there is no strike action that can take place. “During the cooling off period, we will continue mobilising the workers (for a planned strike).

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