The nation is faced with the pandemic of Covid -19 . As a Country with small population, we must fight gallantly to save the lives of our people. This requires joint efforts and unity of all stakeholders and Batswana in general. We as Trade Unions and workers are highly dedicated to this cause as Republican duty to ensuring a healthy and safe nation.
3. These efforts are however seriously hampered by too much red tape, poor coordination and indecisiveness on the part of Government.
4. As of current some employees have not been given permits to enable them to access their workstations. Most employees are stuck without transport to work because there is no arrangement put for them after stoppage of public transport. There is crisis in that some employees are still without personal protective equipments (PPE’s), something which endangers their lives. It is unfortunate and problematic that Government has failed to give employees PPEs but then threaten them that if they don’t work they will be disciplined . This is irresponsibility at it’s best.
5. Some of the proposals that we put before Government as efforts of protection and safety of employees are as follows ;
-That the Minister responsible declare Covid -19 as an occupational disease for legal protection of employees in terms of compensation.
– A hundred percent medical aid coverage for frontline officers to mitigate medical expenses
-That Government establish an Insurance Fund for life coverage of frontline employees
-Arrangement for frontline officers to be adequately assisted with protective clothing , accommodation , feeding and all necessary logistical arrangements to enable them to effectively deliver services to the public
-Enhancement of testing capacitity in various centres established
5.2 Most these issues have not been implemented , yet employees are required to effectively deal with this pandemic facing the Country. It is a question of how do you send an army to war without weapons and expect victory in those circumstances.
6. As Labour movement we must state that employees remain patriotic and highly prepared to serve the nation . What they are humbly asking from Government , is their safety and protection to be guaranteed in order to deliver their tasks as expected. Other Countries already have statistics of deaths of frontline officers who died on the line of duty because their safety and protection was compromised , and we don’t want that to happen in this Country. These workers deserve to live , and they just be sentenced to death because of lack of personal protection equipment.
7. In all these matters we have been engaging with Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Health ) , Directorate of Public Service Management, Minister of Presidential Affairs & Public Administration , Minister of Employment , Productivity & Skills Development.
8. This Country is at a high risk of Covid -19 , and therefore we must all be prompt , decisive and serious with implementation of strategy in the fight against this pandemic.
Yours in workers victory
Deputy Secretary Secretary General