Trouble Brewing At Barloworld

Tension is rife between Barloworld Equipment employees in Orapa and the human resources manager Tshepiso Dume after failing to pay them their overtime, which dates back to 2010.

“This is the second time she fails to honour her agreement and we are not surprised as it is always her way of delaying this.” said an angry employee.

Two weeks ago, Barloworld agreed with the Botswana Mine Workers Union Branch Chairperson Keabetswe Chokwe that they will pay their workers their overtime money by the 20th February (Friday), but when going to print, no money was paid.

According to one of the owed employee, on Tuesday last week, they received some hours from the human resource department to confirm if they are the correct owed hours, which he said, were not their real ones. “When we received wrong hours, we were not surprised as we knew they will come with a way to delay the agreed date, because they have an original copy of our hours they are supposed to pay,” he said.

He further said they had sent them back the correct ones the same day as they had copies of the original.

Efforts to reach the Barloworld Equipment Human Resource Manager Tshepiso Dume were not successful as we were told she was in the meeting the whole day and the receptionist could not give us her mobile number.

Barloworld management in Orapa have been accused of negligence by their employees after failing to honour the 20th December payment agreement they made at the Arbitration court last year.

Speaking to The Monitor, Elton Katlholo who runs Rivergrape investment, a labour consultant firm, and also represents the 82 workers, said that there is no commitment between the human resource manager, as this is the second time she fails to meet her deadline, which she set for herself.

In 2010, Letlhakane labour inspected Barloworld equipment and ordered them to pay their workers for their overtimes, which they failed. This resulted in the employees taking their employer to Industrial court where the matter was referred to Arbitration court. “In October last year, we settled on the mediation process, where Barloworld agreed to pay its employees overtime, but said they can only afford to pay them from 2012,” said Katlholo. He added that December 20, 2014 was payment day.

However, Barloworld failed to honour this date and did not consult their employees to explain why the payment has not been made.

“There is totally no commitment from the human resource department as they are not even communicating with either me or the employees to explain why the payment has not been made till now,” he said.

Katlholo added that sometime in January, he took the matter to the police and served Barloworld equipment with failure to pay letter, which resulted in them agreeing to pay on the 20th February.

When asked about the matter, Barloworld Equipment HR, Tshepiso Dume referred us to the Botswana Mine Workers Union, Branch Chairman, Keabetswe Chokwe who said that he is aware of the case.

“This morning I spoke to the Barloworld human resource manager through the phone and they assured that they will pay the employees by the 20th February” said Chokwe two weeks ago.  Chokwe added that Dume said delays were due to the missing record of hours, which he said were retrieved except five, which were still missing. According to Chokwe, he had a Union meeting with Barloworld general manager, Kagiso Peace Katse who said he was not aware that the employees were still being owed.

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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