Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has joined Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) in condemning the Covid-19 Frontline Workers Appreciation Initiative by De Beers Group.
Recently, the Presidential Covid-19 Task Force team announced that it has, in collaboration with De Beer Group as well as private sector companies, come up with an initiative to reward some of the frontline workers in the pandemic.
The initiative will see six Batswana frontline workers each win a diamond from De Beers Group, while Mascom will gift 100 frontline workers with P100 worth of internet devices and mobile data.
BONU recently condemned the initiative as it fears would divide the frontline workers.
Some of the issues raised by BONU were the discriminative nature of the initiative, its exclusion of other disciplines in the frontline, and the perceived bias on nominees as well as its competitive nature.
Now, BMWU has joined those who are against the initiative, saying it bears all the hallmarks of a raffle, a winner takes all competition where there will be winners and losers.
“Nothing positive can come out of this. There is a need to change its modus-operandi. This, we believe goes against what De Beers Group stands for and derogates from its core values of making life brilliant and building trust among communities,” said BMWU President, Joseph Tsimako in a statement of Wednesday.
As a result, the Union has called on De Beers to reconsider its participation in the initiative and implored the group, together with the Task Force, to change tact and revise how they intend to run the initiative.
“Underlying this initiative is the appreciation of frontline workers across all disciplines, not the glorification of a chosen few,” said Tsimako.