- Says company fires staff and settles out of court to avoid embarrassment
- Lucara says recent termination of employees’ contracts was fair
Botswana Mining Workers Union (BMWU) has decided to petition the Chairman of the Board of Lucara Botswana, Paul Conibear, for a series of serious unresolved longstanding concerns.
Lucara Botswana is the 100 percent owner and mineral licence holder of Karowe Mine operations.
“The petition is in part attributable to serious derogation from codes of practice and breach of mandatory legal and ethical frameworks,” reads the petitions that is dated 22 April 2023 and was submitted last Saturday.
It accuses the Managing Director of Lucara Botswana, Nassim Lahri, of ill-treating workers and of being in the habit of unlawful and wrongful termination of employees’ contracts on baseless grounds and without a hearing.
“The company has decided to settle all the above cases out of court out of fear of being embarrassed by the law,” says BMWU in the petition.
Other issues raised in the petition are retrenchments which the union says violate labour laws and outsourcing of core security functions.
“The move to export jobs to South Africa outright defeats the purpose of investment strategic plans on the economic development of local communities,” says the petition. “We demand that this decision be reviewed and withdrawn forthwith.”
The union also raises concerns about delays in addressing issues at union and management level, security reporting lines, staff complement shortages, conditions of service, and weak supply chain monitoring and welfare of business partners.
However, defending itself in court in a recent case of dismissal of employees, Lucara stated: “The termination of the employees’ contracts of employment was not carried out in terms of the company’s disciplinary code and procedure but in terms of the employment contracts which supersedes the disciplinary code and procedure.”
The company argued that the case was not a proper one for reinstatement because the termination of the employees’ contracts was fair.
“The employees occupy sensitive positions in the security department and the roles require utmost trust and confidence between the employers and the employees,” Lucara said.
The Board of Lucara Botswana is yet to respond to the petition.