Workers in dispute at the university in Swaziland that has been chosen by King Mswati III to host his ‘University of Transformation’ have asked their counterparts in Botswana not to take their jobs while they are on strike.
About 100 non-academic staff at Limkokwing University in Mbabane started a strike on Monday 9 January 2017 protesting about working conditions and short-term contracts.
The Swaziland Union of Non-Academic Staff for Higher Education Institutions (SUNASHI) wrote to workers at Limkokwing in Botswana fearing that the Swaziland management would bring in workers from Botswana to do their jobs.
The Sunday Standard newspaper in Botswana reported this week (15 January 2017) that four years ago when there was a dispute at Limkokwing in Lesotho, workers were sent from Botswana as ‘scab labour’.
Now, the newspaper reported, SUNASHI has written to workers at Limkokwing Botswana to say if they go to Mbabane they would undermine the strike.
The letter read in part, ‘Your coming to Swaziland might therefore be used to defeat the legitimate display of worker power of the planned strike.
‘Secondly, it might constitute an illegal entry into Swaziland to work when you have no legal status to work in this jurisdiction.
‘Thirdly, it might contribute to chaos and violence that may take place upon the striking workers learning about your presence on the Swaziland campus.’
Limkokwing University is a private university that was chosen by King Mswati to house a University of Transformation that would take students from across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region. The Swazi King, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, became chair of SADC in August 2016. He pledged the university would be operating by August 2017.
The strike at Limkokwing Swaziland was suspended on 12 January 2017, pending further talks between management and workers.
STRIKE AT SWAZI KING’S SADC UNIVERSITY
KING’S NEW UNWORKABLE UNIVERSITY
NEW SWAZI UNIVERSITY SUBSTANDARD