The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) says it will continue to operate, despite being deregistered by the Swazi Government.
TUCOSWA, which was formed last month (March 2012), had been registered and then deregister by the government, sparking protests across the world.
TUCOSWA had announced immediately after it was created that it would call for a boycott of next year’s elections in Swaziland, saying they were illegitimate because all political parties in the kingdom are banned.
TUCOSWA is also taking a lead role in mass protests across Swaziland that are starting today (11 April 2012).
The government said it had registered TUCOSWA in error because there was no law in the kingdom to allow federations to be recognised.
In its first public statement since the deregulation last week, TUCOSWA said the government was wrong because it had registered federations in the past. It said, ‘the Federation will continue operating as a legal entity’.
It said, ‘It will be fallacy and a joke of the century for the Government to pronounce that our Industrial laws do not provide for the registration of Labour Federations.’
It added that the deregulation was an attack on freedom of association in Swaziland.
Last week, the Trade Union Congress in the UK called on Swaziland to be suspended from the Commonwealth following its attack on TUCOSWA.
COSATU, the South African union group has also pledged its support for TUCOSWA.
UNION ATTACK: ‘SUSPEND SWAZILAND’
SWAZILAND GOVERNMENT ATTACKS TRADE UNIONS
UNION ATTACK: FULL TUC STATEMENT
UNIONS: LETTER TO COMMONWEALTH
UNION ATTACK: LETTER TO SWAZI HC