This follows the arrest of 10 trade unionists on Saturday (14 May 2011) as they attempted to hold a meeting of the newly-formed Trade Unions Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA).
Cosatu said in a statement today (16 May 2011) that it had raised the problem with its international companion organisations, global federations and international centres for a coordinated international action.
‘This is particularly important in the build up to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conference 100th session starting early June in Geneva, where the issue of Swaziland will be on the table again before the Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) for review and action.’
It added, ‘This is the time for more coordination and unity in action for the sake of the suffering workers and sister people of Swaziland. We welcome the new resolve by various international organisations to step up solidarity with the people of Swaziland at this crucial hour of need.’
Cosatu said it was proposing a series of initiatives, including
· An international day of action to demand release of the arrested unionists.
· A coordinated approach to the coming ILO in Geneva to raise the tempo of the Swazi struggle beyond its current mode, particularly given the fact that twice Swaziland has twice appeared in the ‘special paragraph’, which is the highest ILO sanction. This may require referring the matter to further structures within the global multilateral system for action
· Convening of a conference of all organisations and activists involved in the Swazi struggle and their global solidarity partners to discuss the way forward.
It added, ‘Cosatu will be liaising closely with the Swazi trade union movement and our global allies around the call for a comprehensive boycott campaign, given that trade unions are best placed to lead such an offensive as they are at the point of production, which place upon their shoulders more responsibility for serious and consistent boycott and not once-off and isolated campaigns that are not making the desired impact.’
SWAZI UNIONISTS HELD ILLEGALLY