Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU)’s Secretary General, Tobokani Rari has blamed the break down of relations between Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and labour movements on Former President Ian Khama’s hostile attitude towards Trade Unions.
Responding to a statement that was made by the ruling party’s Chief Whip, Liakat Kably during an interview with The Voice that the BDP will be extending an olive branch to trade unions, Rari said the arrogant attitude and the accompanying stringent and undemocratic policies that have constricted the working space for labour movements in this country, made them to conclude that the BDP is not a labour friendly party.
“You will recall that under the leadership of Khama, we wrote to him on several occasions to meet him in his capacity as both the BDP President and that of the country to discuss the party policies that affect workers, but to no avail, for the whole period that he was in office.”
It was therefore upon the BDP to redeem itself and do so honestly by abiding by the International Labour Standards as outlined in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, Rari has argued.
“They should restore back the Public Service bargaining Council (PSBC), revise the Trade Dispute Act with view to abide by the ILO standard definition of essential services,” he noted.
Rari further said that government should withhold the intended amendment of the Public Service Act pending honest consultation with unions.
Meanwhile they should desist from interference on union operations.
“These are but a few policy issues that we feel the BDP should be able to instruct its government to desist from doing, otherwise their commitment to engage unions would just be mere hollow rhetoric,” Rari quipped.
He however said that BOFEPUSU have always remained open to all political parties including the BDP to work with them for the benefit of the workers of this country.