TRANSPORT FARES, ELECTRICITY TARRIFS INCREASES, UNREGULATED RENTALS AND SALARY CUTS COMPOUND THE WOES OF WORKERS
DATE: 29 AUGUST 2020
BFTU is concerned by the effects that the transport prices and electricity increases will have on workers. Though such increases in the transportation fares are a welcome development to the transport sector there needed to be a balance during these trying times when almost all private sector employees have had zero salary increments, pay cuts, lost their earnings and an unprecedented number sent back home because of the COVID 19 challenges.
These challenges have been exacerbated further by the ever increasing electricity tariffs and rentals which also erode the mediocre payments that employees are earning during this difficult period. It is unimaginable that an employee earning a thousand pula living in the outskirts of Gaborone and working in Gaborone spends half of his/her salary on transport while at the same time having to contend with the fact that a hundred pula electricity voucher no longer lasts the whole month let alone three weeks. Unscrupulous landlords also increase rentals citing public service salary increments as the main reason for increases.
At the same time, we have been inundated with reports of companies that have unilaterally taken decisions to cut employees’ salaries. What is even more disappointing is the fact that the perpetrators are very big companies that have been making millions of Pula in profit all along.
Workers must unite to fight the injustices that are taking place under the guise of COVID 19. Our unity is key to demanding fairness and equity during this period.
Government must realise that its populace is suffering and the decisions they make must be properly informed and proper consultation processes must be followed. Botswana
Power Corporation Workers Union has continuously raised an alarm on foul play at the corporation which seem to be going unheard by the Ministry concerned leaving the public to bear the brunt through increases in tarrifs.
Private sector employees are subjected to slavery practices and employers flout labour laws with leaders at the government enclave becoming spectators.
To add salt to wounds, the COVID 19 regulations have left trade unions out and make it difficult for the unions to convene meetings of structures that are crucial to the operations of trade unions.
It is time that we demand for employers to meet workers half way on transport costs.
Currently workers use a large proportion of their salaries to fund employers through transport costs. Government must assist public transport owners instead of leaving already poor workers with the burden alone. Warnings concerning mismanagement at BPC must be investigated and rentals must be regulated.
Workers must wake up from this ordeal and unite.
Viva Workers Power
Long live BFTU