THE Botswana Labour and Home Affairs minister, Peter Siele has informed the Botswana Telecommunication Employees Union (Boteu) that cordial labour relations are a catalyst for economic growth and national good governance founded on the principle of respect of the workers rights.
In his official opening address at the Boteu annual general meeting in Palapye on Saturday, Siele said his ministry’s role was to ensure that respect for workers rights was not said but done.
“It is my responsibility to ensure that this is not only said, but done.”
Siele acknowledged that there remained significant challenges that must be overcome especially in building healthy and mutually supportive relationships between the workers and corporate management.
He added that another labour issue that has proved to be a major concern in the recent years was the fact that both parties did not understand or appreciate their respective rights and obligations.
“For example, the employers are of the view that there is need to reform the labour law to address the attitudes of these cadre of workers, so that they can be held accountable for their actions and take their job seriously while the workers on the other hand believe that their employers do not comply with the provisions of the law in particular with respect to the provision of protective clothing, time offs, vacation, compassionate leave, sick leave as well as payment of gratuity. ”
Siele pointed out that associations like unions help workers to have a strong voice with which to bargain for their rights and recognition.
“They may also have a say in national issues like privatisation and poverty alleviation strategies.” –– Gov.bw