Limkokwing locked in dispute

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

A dispute between management and labour union at one of Botswana’s foremost ICT institutions, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, resulted in employees downing tools this week.

Business was muted at the institution as the union representing the workers, the Trainers and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), was locked in a meeting with management over a range of issues, with better wages a major topic.

A few days earlier the workers demanded that management release a job analysis report, which is envisaged to recommend the establishment of a salary structure for the university as well as broad conditions of service with clear progression paths.

TAWU also wants the Limkokwing management to release the final draft of the human resource manual for agreement and signing, as the matter is long overdue.

Recently, TAWU president Allen Keitseng said employees had written to Limkokwing management on March 6, asking them to honour agreements made by the two parties. The union gave the institution five days after receipt of the letter to respond to employees' demands.

The spokesperson of the union, Chawada Taupedi, said the dispute dated back to 2011 when employees requested to be paid their long overdue gratuities.

She said the management had asked to be given more time and complained that the union was putting them under undue pressure, adding that the school's leadership further accused TAWU of influencing staff to demonstrate.

"The institution has for long been given a lot of chances. The management is lying to its employees, but we only want the truth and for people to be assisted fairly," she said.

"We had issues like this in 2009, but by then the employees were divided. Today we are all united, and we demand to be taken seriously. We are prepared for the outcome, and if it is negative we will go for a strike," said another employee at the institution.

Meanwhile, negotiations continued at the time of publication. Efforts to reach the management of the University for comments and latest developments on the issue were met with unanswered calls. 

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