BDP Business moghul accused of withholding overtime payment
About 31 employees, mostly drivers of Coldline Botswana, a company that belongs to Botswana Democratic Party treasurer and business Moghul, Satar Dada have approached the Industrial Court over unpaid overtime.
Coldline is involved in the distribution of Tswana Pride products, a poultry company located in Notwane in the outskirts of Gaborone.
This week, both the employer and the employees represented by their lawyers appeared briefly before the Industrial court where the case was postponed until the 18th of September this year.
The two parties have been asked to go for case management meetings and put all the evidence in summary before the case resumes for hearing in four months time.
Employees contend that they are owed overtime allowances from May 2017 to date.
The disgruntled Coldline employees’ lawyer says the agreement between the two parties was that overtime would be calculated until 9pm but later as time went on the employer changed and reduced the hours to 7pm.
Although he says the agreement was in writing, the company nonetheless went on to reduce the hours of overtime without consultation.
The employees further contend that they are owed close to half million Pula.
Outside court the employees told The Voice that they had an agreement with the employer when they were first employed that they will be paid overtime in line with the labour laws.
However, they argue in their court documents that along the way Dad’s company abruptly stopped paying them according to the initial agreement, insisting on paying them overtime using the vehicles tracking systems.
“Immediately the ignition goes off, that’s where they stop calculating overtime, even though you might still be loading or unloading consignments and doing other work,” said one of the angry employees, who went on to further claim that they were sent on forced leave this week.
Some of them say they have since been victimized when they raised their concerns and ultimately dismissed from work in an unprocedural manner.