Thousands of people get up every morning to go to work, many of them very sad because they work in slave conditions and for peanuts.
Their employers trample on their rights with impunity because they know they can get away with murder.This is so because employers, unions and government are yet to find time to implement a plan that will ensure that workers have decent working conditions and are fully protected.
To this end the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) is hosting a panel discussion that will discuss this issue. The discussion dubbed the Botswana Decent Work Country Programme (BDWCP), will be held this evening at the University of Botswana's library auditorium.
The panel discussion was planned fo last Wednesday but was cancelled after newly formed Umbrella Party representatives failed to turn up. Only one discussant, Kgang Kgang of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), turned up.
BFTU had invited the Umbrella as an entity representing the views of the four opposition political parties that form it. However, the parties - according to BFTU publicity secretary, Edward Tswaipe - received the invitation late and preferred to be invited as individual parties.
"The secretaries of the parties told us the Umbrella was not in a state to offer a combined view," Tswaipe says, adding that the feeling was that the cooperation model was still in its infancy and could thus not be expected to present a common position of all its members.
BFTU has since written to all political parties to each send an individual representative to the discussion. "The parties have said that they are comfortable with the discussion being held today," Tswaipe told The Monitor.
The objective of the discussion is to sensitise the public about the BDWCP and to highlight the ILO Convention on Domestic Work. BFTU believes it is important for political parties to communicate their views on the programme document and policy positions on labour and social policy matters, hence the invitation.