General

Industrial strike beckons at BPC

By: REUBEN PITSE

Scores of Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) employees have started picketing over salary increment.

Picketing started sometime last week at Morupule power plants.

Management and the union are expected to have an emergency meeting this week to try and resolve the matter.

A source within management stated that picketing took BPC management by surprise and they have no choice but to convene an emergency meeting to map the way forward.

The source stated that although the corporation is going through a rough patch due to financial difficulties it is prepared to offer 3 percent instead of the 6 percent demanded by the employees.

Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union (BPCWN) has vowed to put BPC management under pressure until their demands are met.

The Secretary General of BPCWN Bahithetswe Lentswe confirmed to The Telegraph that, “It is true that BPC employees have started picketing throughout the country in order to put BPC management under pressure so that they listen to the employee’s grievances,” he said.

Lentswe explained that as the Union they have for a longtime requested the employer to negotiate the wage increments for employees but it appears the employer is not willing to negotiate. He stated that because of management attitude employees have resorted to picketing campaign throughout offices across the country in an effort to force the BPC management to meet their demands.

The employees are demanding a 15 percent salary adjustment increment.

Another option is that at least they should have at least a 6 percent salary increase like government employees.

Lentswe charged that “the employees are sick and tired of hearing the daily song by the employer that there is no money yet there are clear signs that a lot of funds are being wasted.”

“The employees have vowed to continue with picketing until the employer agrees to negotiate. If it comes to a push, we will do what it takes and follow the right channel that will eventfully lead to industrial strike despite the fact that the employees fall under essential services,” he said.

Lentswe added that “Personally I do not think that the employer will dare to go that route because they know the repercussion of the industrial strike.”

At the time of going to press BPC had not yet responded to this publican’s queries.