Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Botswana: Mine owners accused of "modernised slavery"

Government of Botswana - Miners in and around Francistown accuse mine management of practising what they called modernised slavery.

They told the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Peter Siele, during a consultative meeting in Francistown that the relationship between them and management was bad and characterised by delay tactics, bad faith and lack of seriousness.

A member of the national executive of the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BOMWU), Mr Kabelo Maano, called on government to review the Employment Act, saying it favoured employers.

This, he said, has led to a situation whereby management did not take the negotiation forum seriously and that it undermined the union.

He told the minister that their management preferred to use outdated policies and agreements, which they refused to review.

He cited polices and agreements which dated as far back as 2000, adding that management often failed to comply with Mines, Quarries and Machinery Act and labour agreements.

He further said companies did not comply with the localization policy.

He called for the abolition of labour brokers, as they gave rise to the casualisation, cheap labour and erosion of job security.

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