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Open Response by to the Petition received by BOFEPUSU allegi...
27/04/11

This morning (22/04/11) in my capacity as the Minister responsible for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, I received on behalf of Government a petition from representatives of organized labour acting in the name of BOFEPUSU.

While thus giving prominence to, and thereby showing respect for, the petitioner's right to make their grievances known, Government clearly also has a responsibility to inform the public of its own position with respect to the petitioner's demands.

We do not agree with the petitioner's contention that Government has in anyway acted in an unlawful manner in our handling of the ongoing labour action, through our efforts to assure the continued delivery of critical services such as the operation of health facilities.

In this respect we would note that both Government as the employer and the Unions are collectively bound to act within the law and agreed rules of the strike.

As the Unions are themselves aware, where differences of interpretation over the handling of the strike by either party arise there are mechanisms in place to ensure that they are resolved.

It is, therefore, in our view unfortunate that rather than going through the processes of mediation and or litigation that exist, the petitioners have instead resorted to threatening the picketing of departments in contravention of the agreed rules, which have provided for workers to gather at designated assembly points.

Government otherwise finds the petition's allegations of "terror" and "intimidation" inconsistent with the reality of what has, heretofore, been a peaceful and lawful labour action. In this respect, we wish to appeal to all to continue to act with professional restraint that is consistent with our well established norms for resolving differences.

On behalf of Government, I also wish to take this opportunity to once more thank the many public service employees who have been ensuring the operation of public services across the country over the past four days.

I also take this opportunity to reiterate that all workers who have gone on strike, but now wish to return to work, are free to do so. Those workers so wishing to exercise their Right to Return to Work need only to report to, and be registered at, their normal duty stations at the beginning of each working day, while working their full eight hour shift each day.

As we have previously communicated, in accordance with the "no pay no work rule", however, those returning to work will not be paid for any days they were not on duty due to the strike; but they shall be paid from the date they have returned to work. In this respect I wish to remind all workers that they should be registered as "present" at the beginning of each working day.

Finally, it is my pleasure to wish all Batswana a safe Easter Holiday.

Thank you.

[signed] Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi
Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Service
 

 

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