BR and Union deadlock over retrenchment

The war between Botswana Railways management and Botswana Railways Amalgamated Workers Union (BRAWU) seems to intensify as the consultation process approaches the end. The process, which started on March 11, might end today (Friday), depending on whether the two parties reach an agreement on the retrenchment of at least 147 employees. So far they have held three meetings, whose agenda items included newly approved organisational structure, job grading and evaluation and presentation of methods of aversion by management.

In a related development, the two also notified the staff that the next joint negotiating committee consultative meetings focused on the outsourcing policy, negotiation of packages, selection and redeployment criteria, composition of the transition team and implementation and mitigations of job losses by the Union. Botswana Guardian has learned that the current tension arises from exit packages. Management has proposed ten days pay for every year worked, which does not sink well with the Union.

A member of the Union executive committee said that they do not agree with the proposed package. “We want 22 days pay for every year worked,” he said. It remains to be seen which party will win as the Union was expected to put their proposal on the table yesterday (Thursday). This paper has also been informed that the Union executive committee took a line tour earlier last month to update members, who also rubbished the BR management’s proposal as peanuts.

Chief Executive Officer Dominic Ntwaagae refused to confirm or deny the allegations, saying the processes of consultation and negotiations were ongoing. “I do not want to jeopardise the discussions,” he said, however adding that this week’s meeting could be the last depending on what has been discussed and the results thereby closing the delayed restructuring exercise. Reliable sources also say that Ntwaagae has been refusing to update the general staff on the progress of the meeting as requested by the Union, saying that he would meet them after the completion of the meeting. BR has a staff complement of about 850.

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:26

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