Botswana Media and Allied Workers Union (BOMAWU) will be launched on the 2 September 2016 . This is according to BOMAWU president Phillimone Mmeso who stated that vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi will launch the union while Secretary General of Zimbabwe Union for Journalists Foster Dongozi will deliver the key note address.
Mmeso said they are also expecting union leaders across the SADC region and from local trade unions as well as representatives from the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) to grace the occasion.
According to Mmeso, the union’s launch is a step in the right direction for media workers, whom he said for the longest time have not had a united voice to address their challenges. “ Its been more than forty years since media workers tried to unionize and their efforts have been failing. That is why today we are excited for the birth and launch of BOWAWU to represent our pleas,” Mmeso said.
Amongst the challenges faced my media workers, which he said will top the mandate of BOWAWU are, unfair dismissals, retrenchments where workers are not paid their packages, low salaries, lack of training and lack of professionalism. “ We are also observing a worrying trend of low level of reporting which can be attributed to lack of training. With BOWAWU, we want to protect our profession as well as see to it that our welfare is given the due attention by employers,” Mmeso explained.
BOMAWU was registered by the Registrar of Unions in December 2015. Some of its objectives are to promote the role of the press and all media institutions in enhancing the achievement of human rights as stated in the United Nations Charter, protect where need be, the constitutional guarantee of expression by ensuring that there is freedom of the press and to promote the adherence to code of ethics and conduct in keeping with local and international accepted professional standards in respect of the practice of journalism.