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DISGRUNTLED: Avani Gaborone Resort employees

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Avani Hotel workers return to work

Avani Gaborone Resort and Casino workers who recently embarked on an industrial strike, returned to work last Thursday as their Union began negotiations with the hotel management to address their grievances.

Two weeks ago, about 180 hotel workers downed tools to protest salary cuts of 70 percent resulting in some earning as little as P200 for the month of August.

This led to the intervention of the workers Union, Botswana Commercial, and General Workers Union (BCGWU) with the matter also heading to the Commissioner of Labour.

Following a meeting between the Commissioner of Labour, hotel management, and the Union, it was resolved that the matter be addressed by the Union and the hotel management.

BCGWU Executive Secretary, Joseph Paakane said in an interview last Wednesday that workers had agreed to return to work on Thursday to start their shifts.

Paakane said it was agreed that workers would not be subjected to any disciplinary action, noting, however, that the workers will not be paid for the first day of the strike which was last Friday, whereas the other days they did not work will be treated as off-days and as such will be paid accordingly.

The Union Executive Secretary said they would be starting negotiations with the hotel management soon to discuss how the issue of salaries can be resolved.

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Due to Covid-19 business disruptions, some departments of the hotel are not currently functioning, rendering some employees out of work.

“According to the law, one cannot be paid when they have not worked,” said Paakane.

As a result, he said the Union would be proposing to Avani management to reserve a portion of the salaries of the employees currently turning up to work to pay those currently stuck at home to cushion them.

“Going forward, the Union would like to have regular meetings with the hotel management to review what the two parties have agreed,” Paakane noted.

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