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IN COURT: Makoro Bricks

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Is the labour office in contempt of court?

Palapye Labour Officers to appear in court over Makoro Bricks case

Two Palapye District Labour Office employees will appear before Justice Diwanga of Francistown Industrial Court on 26th November to show cause why they should not be in contempt of the orders issued by the same court on the 14th June 2021 and 18th August 2021.

In a marathon case between Makoro Bricks and Tiles and Botswana Miners Workers Union (BMWU), the two officers Luzibo Khumo Mgadla and Gilbert Roberts have been summoned to court by Justice Diwanga for their failure to conduct a ballot to ascertain whether their numbers meet the required one third to allow them to unionise, as per the Trade Dispute Act.

In a dispute that has dragged on for some time, the union has repeatedly sought recognition from the clay brick manufacturing company with little success.

In a previous interview with The Voice, BMWU President Joseph Tsimako accused the company of resorting to underhand tactics to ensure the all important ‘33 percent’ target is not met.

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“What they usually do is retrench all their staff members who had showed willingness to join the union. This will then mean we’re unable to reach the 33 percent threshold,” claimed Tsimako in an interview with The Voice.

He further claimed that every time they asked for recognition, management threatened retrenchment, which has resulted in several ‘unfair firings’ over the years.

On the 19th of February, Justice Diwanga directed the District Labour Office in Palapye to conduct a ballot of Makoro employees to find out exactly how many are members of the union and if their numbers meet the one-third threshold.

The order was to be carried out within 30 days. However, six months later the process remains incomplete.

Two more orders came on 14th June and 18th August, but still the Labour office did not conduct the ballot as per the court order.

When the matter returned to Court on Monday 18th, an unamused Diwanga summoned the two officers to court for a possible contempt of court charge.

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The ballot was supposed to be conducted on Tuesday 10th October, but according to members of the BMWU and concerned Makoro Bricks and Tiles employees both the labour officers and company representatives did not turn up.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Conty Molapong

    27/10/2021 at 05:14

    Justice denied, justice delayed tot the poor workers

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