Here are two reports from the Swazi News, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, about the forthcoming Global Day of Action.
4 September 2010
SFTU’s mass protests on Tuesday-Wednesday
MBABANE - The country’s two major cities, Mbabane and Manzini will next week Tuesday and Wednesday come to a standstill as unions embark on a national protest.
Speaking to Swazi News, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) Secretary General Mduduzi Gina explained that government failed to meet their demands hence the protest action was inevitable.
‘’We met with the Labour Advisory Body on Wednesday about our demands sadly government did not comply," said Gina.
Some of the demands include the withdrawal of the Public Service Bill which forbids civil servants from joining political parties, setting aside of the scholarship policy for consultations with all stakeholders, abolishment of SEC’s E55 monthly service charge and the removal of Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corpora-tion’s (STPC) workers from essential services category.
Gina also explained that during the protest action government will be petitioned for the abolishment of employment through labour brokers/agents, shortage of drugs in public health institutions and making available Swaziland National Provident Fund contributions to contributors upon termination of employment despite their age.
The ministry of Natural Resources and Energy will be petitioned on September 8, 2010 on the E55 monthly service charge by SEC.
Unions allowed to march but…
MBABANE-The municipal council of Manzini has given permission to labour unions to use the city during their two-day demonstrations.
However, it has banned them from using streets within the heart of the town.
“It is true that I received a letter yesterday from the city council where they want us to use out- of-town streets like the one before Sydney Williams school," said Gina. Gina further revealed that out-of-town streets will serve no purpose as they intend to raise awareness about their grievances.
The letter also states that no noise would be allowed for security reasons. Gina again said; "We will be assembling at Jubilee Park as per the norm. We will use the Ngwane Street." The SFTU secretary general explained that the mass protest action is legal as every procedure was followed.
Government has repeatedly argued that workers should not include political issues in their demands but the workers have alleged that their lives were determined by the politics so it was impossible for them not to discuss political issues.
The protest action has attracted international attention as a number of trade unions throughout the world have set next week as a week to focus on Swaziland. News from other parts indicated that workers the world over, those affiliated to the International Federation of Trade Unions hold marches where the kingdom has embassies or diplomatic ties.