The Swaziland Minister of Labour personally led a raid on a textile factory following a tip-off that workers were being exploited.
Lutfo Dlamini found that workers at Nhlangano-textile firm Juries Manufacturers were being fined if they talked to one another without permission; that they not allowed paid sick leave and they worked in dangerous conditions.
He also discovered that of 1,000 workers at the factory only 30 of them were employed full-time, the rest were on six-monthly contracts that were renewed at the company’s discretion.
All of these conditions were illegal under Swazi law.
Dlamini was accompanied by the local Member of Parliament and senior officials at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Labour Deputy Commissioner Albert Simelane told the Juries’ management, ‘We find what is happening here as irregular and abuse of the workers,’ according to local media.
Minister Dlamini gave the factory two weeks to get its house in order.
There have been many examples of textile factories – most owned by Taiwanese companies – exploiting their workers in Swaziland, many of whom are paid wages so low they are unable to feed themselves properly.
Last month the Swaziland High Court supported textile company Zheng Yong when it refused to pay its workers paid leave, claiming it could not afford to do so.
SWAZI TEXTILE PAY STRIKE ILLEGAL