- Union vows to fight tooth and nail for dismissed employees
- Lucara says its relationship with fired employees has broken down
The dispute between Lucara Botswana and Botswana Mining Workers Union (BMWU) has reached the Industrial Court where the company is defending an accusation that it fired some employees without following due process.
According to papers before court, Lucara Botswana argues that the termination of the employees’ contracts of employment was not carried out in terms of the company’s disciplinary code and procedure but was in accordance with the employment contracts of the employees which supersedes the disciplinary code and procedure.
The company also argues that the present case is not a proper one for reinstatement firstly because the termination of the employees’ contract was fair and secondly because the relationship between the employees and the company has broken down irretrievably.
“The employees occupy sensitive positions in the security department and the roles require utmost trust and confidence between the employers and the employees,” Lucara says.
The company argues that given the circumstances of the case and the allegations made by the union and the dismissed employees, the company has lost trust and confidence in the employees.
On the other hand, BMWU says the dismissals were “unprovoked, without any notice and with no hearing” and that the position of Lucara was that it was not obliged to provide any reasons for the termination of the contracts because the contracts of the employees afforded it the right to terminate them without affording reasons.
The union says if for any reason the employees cannot be reinstated, this is a case where the amount of compensation for the employees should be exemplary as a mark of disapproval of Lucara’s unfair labour practices and flagrant violation of the employee rights.
“Alternatively, each of the employees (should) be granted compensation for wrongful and unfair dismissal for an amount equivalent to their salary for 36 months,” the union asserts. “The respondent shall pay the costs of this action on attorney and own client scale.”
The case comes in a climate where Lucara and the union have been exchanging heated statements in the media.