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Majwe and mine workers union dispute reaches court

WHERE'S THE PACKAGE: Tsimako

Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has taken Majwe Mining to Industrial Court after the latter backtracked on an earlier agreement between the two parties regarding the separation package of the workers.

In January, Debswana announced the termination of the Majwe Mining contract which was worth over P15 billion.

This raised concerns over the future of Majwe employees as their contracts were supposed to run for the next seven years.

In a meeting with the Majwe management, the Union had proposed to include a separation package for the workers in a bid to cushion them against financial commitments they have made.

BMWU president, Josepth Tsimako, said Majwe had agreed to include a separation package in their negotiations, but later backtracked and proposed to pay terminal benefits as covered by the labour act.

“We had agreed with Majwe to include separation package in our negotiations and the agreement is there in our meeting minutes,” said Tsimako, adding they felt it was not correct for Majwe to backtrack on this agreement.

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Tsimako said Majwe was steadfast that the separation package of workers is not under the negotiable matter and therefore, would not engage further on it.

“We engaged a mediator to help us solve the deadlock but the mediator failed as well. It is then that we further engaged a private arbitrator,” said Tsimako.

He said the private arbitrator said the company was correct to say the separation package does not fall under negotiable matter.

“We didn’t agree with the private arbitrator, hence we went further with the matter,” Tsimako said, adding the union’s main contention is for the two to commit themselves in writing to include separation package in negotiations as per the minutes of their meeting.

The matter was heard at the Industrial Court on Monday this week with a ruling expected in 30 days from the date of hearing.

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