|An amendment to Clause 46 of Botswana's proposed Trade Disputes Act Bill 2015, is being hotly debated in Parliament, according to a report by Botswana Daily News (BDN) published on allafrica.com.
Proponents of Clause 46, which reportedly lists diamond sorting, cutting and selling services as "essential services", along with operation and maintenance services of the railways, veterinary services in the public service, teaching services, government broadcasting services, "and services necessary to the operation of any of the aforementioned cadres", argue that they are vital to the economy of the country.
Speaking against the proposed amendment, which would have certain services removed from Clause 46, Botswana's Minister of Labor and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu reportedly argues that, "Failure to get revenue from diamonds will not only negatively impact on the economy, but would also make it difficult for the country to meet its obligations in promoting health and safety of its people," said Batshu, as quoted by the news source.
Francistown South MP, Wynter Mmolotsi, who submitted the proposed amendment to Parliament, argued that the proposed law would restrict the bargaining power of the employees included under the Clause.
Mmolotsi was supported by Gaborone Central legislator, Dr Phenyo Butale, who argued that including those services in Clause 46 contradicted international best practices and that Parliament should safeguard the democracy that prevails in the country, reports the news source."What we are doing here is further making the relationship between government and employees much more untenable," said Butale, as quoted by BDN. "The minister should engage labour unions to come up with an amicable solution to the impasse between government and labour unions," he said.