Trade unionism in Botswana dates back to 1948 when the first Trade union was formed. It was called the Francistown African Employees Union but it later succumbed to the restrictions imposed by the District Commissioner on the formation of trade unions. A subsequent number of trade unions were formed afterwards.
In April 1977, the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions was founded and historically inaugurated by the first President of the Republic of Botswana, the late Sir Seretse Khama. The formation of BFTU replaced the Botswana Trade Union and education Centre and the formation of the federation was spearheaded by the:
Botswana Federation of Trade Unions as a national labour movement saw it fit to establish trade unions for workers who are regarded as working semi-skilled or unskilled work. This was necessitated by the fact majority of labour law violations are predominant in those sectors.
The established unions are:
Botswana Federation of Trade Unions is an affiliate of Southern Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC), International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC). The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognises BFTU’s status as the national labour centre in Botswana.
Botswana Federation of Trade Union’s mission is to “build a strong labour movement for democracy, social dialogue and sustainable development”
This is further augmented by its vision of striving to promote the interest and welfare of the workers, individual citizens and to create a free and prosperous society in Botswana.
For the mission and vision to be attained, BFTU realises that there has to be guiding values that will ensure the success of its endeavours: