The Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) and the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which intension is to establish mutual understanding and cooperation between the two organizations and also to establish a Business Labour Consultative Council (BLCC), which will deal with labour related issues.

The other objectives of the MoU is to identify issues of mutual interest for joint advocacy, to follow-up and implement the conclusions and recommendations from the BOCCIM and BFTU bipartite, coordinate, guide and stimulate cooperation between the two organizations, identify sources of funding for researches and to identify other areas which can be of mutual benefit to the parties other than advocacy.

“This is a long awaited meeting. We are here to sign a memorandum of understanding with our colleagues from BFTU and this MoU enables us to work with BFTU on issues of mutual interest for the benefit of employees and workers. The key issues are productivity improvement and the training of the work force in order to generate economic growth and jobs,” said Lekwalo Mosienyane, the BOCCIM President.

Chairman of the BOCCIM Labour Sector, Richard Malikongwa highlighted that the International Labour Organisation brought together key representatives of organised business and unions in Botswana in 2011 to set the agenda for improving our bipartite engagements.

“Owing to the need to strengthen social dialogue at all levels and in particular the bipartite relationship between employer’s group and workers group to work towards issues of mutual interest,  it was agreed at that meeting that both BOCCIM and BFTU would develop a Bipartite framework Agreement.

Malikongwa said they are hopeful that the bipartite agreement will bring about conclusions and tangible results on issues of common interest such as employment creation, tripartism, social dialogue,  productivity,  workforce training, dispute  resolution, establishment of independent bodies such as  Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and  Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR).

With respect to tripartism and social dialogue, we hope to see existing structures such as the Labour Advisory Board strengthened to make binding decisions through legislative amendments.
BFTU Secretary General, Gadzani Mhotsha said the signing of the MoU will pave way for good working relationship between BFTU and BOCCIM. “As BFTU, we want to see this relationship flourish,” he said, adding that their relationship with BOCCIM has been going on for two years. now.