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Thursday, 22 March 2012

SWAZI UNIONS CALL TWO-DAY STRIKE

Public service unions in Swaziland will strike for two days starting April 11(2012) in a continuing protest over pay.

Four unions representing about 30,000 teachers, nurses and civil servants want a 4.5 percent pay increase, but the Swazi government, struggling to find enough money to pay its bills as the economy goes into meltdown, has refused.

Public servants say they will take to the streets in various parts of the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, to draw attention to their claim.

They will hold various meetings in the coming week to finalise their plans, President of the kingdom’s teaching union Sibongile Mazibuko told local media.

She said mass demonstrations would take place all over Swaziland, in towns and in rural areas.

The protests coincide with the first anniversary of the failed ‘April 12 uprising’ in which a group of pro-democracy activists used Facebook to agitate for mass protests in Swaziland. Protests took place, but police and security forces quickly quelled them.

The unions involved are the National Association of Public Servants and Allied Workers Union, the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, the Swaziland Nurses Association and the Swaziland National Association of Government Accounts Professionals.

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