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Unions to commemorate 2011 industrial strike this year

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  • Petition over labour relations will be handed to govt on the day
  • Workers will also hold nationwide peaceful demonstrations against govt

KAGO KOMANE

There will be a commemoration for the historical 2011 industrial action for the first time in April this year. This is according to BOFEPUSU Publicity Secretary Mogomotsi Motshegwa.
He said when addressing media on Monday that during the BOFEPUSU special congress in December last year, members directed the leadership to mobilize workers in Botswana to commemorate the 2011 industrial action which commenced on April 18th that year.
“Workers view this date as a very important day in the calendar of their federation. This is a historic moment when workers under BOFEPUSU for the first time in the history of Botswana went on strike en masse as a way of showing the employer in government that they were not happy with the industrial relations in Botswana,” he said.
During that period, many workers lost their jobs and the strike resulted in government amending different pieces of legislation as a result.
He said as a federation, they have taken a decision to commemorate and honor heroes and heroines who participated in that industrial action.
“We want to pay homage and salute those who lost their jobs during that period. These are men and women who stood to fight for their labour rights in their country. We also want to recognize those who soldiered on even up to now despite the painful labour landscape in our country,” he said.
Motshegwa is of the view that this will show the nation that the 2011 strike was very important as it demonstrated the maturity in the spirit of unionism and helped their members to see what unions really stand for.
On that day, he says they also intend to petition the government because six years after the industrial strike, labour relations were still a pain. “We intend to also hold a symposium where we will call different stakeholders to come and review the state of labour relations in our country. We will also hold nationwide peaceful demonstrations to show the nation that since 2011 we still have labour challenges in Botswana,” he said.

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