The retrenchment of over 85 employees at the Discovery Metals Limited Copper mine in Toteng has culminated in a call for the resignation of the General Manager, Bob Fowler.
Wielding placards with messages that expressed their grievances, disgruntled workers recently marched to the North West District Officer’s office in a peaceful demonstration to deliver their petition of management.
Signed by the Botswana Mine Workers Union Spokesperson Jack Tlhagale, DML employees’ petition also highlighted a number of issues including unfair retrenchment and income disparity between locals and expatriates.
Expatriates, they claimed, earn four to five times more than their citizen counterparts for work of equal value.
They further accused the management of sidelining Batswana over unskilled Australians and of being hostile and unco-operative during the recent retrenchment exercise.
“Management has not given employees notice and therefore retrenchment took place without a lawful notice, no exit medical examinations were done,” the petition stated.
Employees also claimed in the petition that their terminal benefits were not paid properly adding that the decision to retrench three key union leaders who were involved in the negotiation process reeked of malice by DLM management.
In conclusion they demanded for reinstatement of all the 85 retrenched staff members and the restoration of the old shift roster.
When receiving the petition Acting District Commissioner Bakani Mathumo told the miners that he was going to make sure that their demands reached relevant authorities.
“There is nothing much I can say about your petition except to thank you for the peaceful demonstration. I can however assure you that the petition will be delivered to the right people in time.”
DLM Public Relations officer failed to respond to a Voice questionnaire except to say he was out of office.