Swaziland

Citing ‘Democracy,’ Swazi Police Break up Union Meeting

Accusing workers of discussing democracy, Swazi police broke up a national union meeting over the weekend in Manzini, according to Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) Secretary-General Vincent Ncongwane. “The police said they would crush our meeting if we do not remove any discussion on multiparty democracy because according to the police, and their supervisors,… [READ MORE]

Swaziland Bans Unions

Swaziland has ordered all worker and employer federations to stop operations immediately, a demand issued yesterday in a resolution by the government cabinet. The order effectively disbands the Trade Union Confederation of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), a Solidarity Center ally. Minister of Labor and Social Security Winnie Magagula, quoted in the Times of Swaziland, said that in… [READ MORE]

Swaziland: Textile Workers Sickened from Dangerous Chemical

Workers continue to be sickened at a Swazi textile factory where dozens of workers required hospitalization earlier this month after the plant began using the dangerous chemical butyl acetate to clean clothing stains. The workers, who went to the hospital at their own expense, reported chest pains, severe headaches, vomiting and bleeding, and some collapsed…. [READ MORE]

Swazi Union Leader Backs AGOA; Country Must Meet Benchmarks

U.S. trade benefits for Africa—known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)—provide key economic support for countries such as Swaziland, according to Vincent Ncongwane, secretary general of the Trade Union Confederation of Swaziland (TUCOSWA). Yet some in the Swazi government are falsely accusing Ncongwane and human rights lawyer Sipho Gumedze of taking a stand… [READ MORE]

Swazi Government Threatens Worker, Human Rights Leaders

The Solidarity Center joins the global labor movement and human rights community in condemning the death threat made by the Swazi prime minister against two worker and human rights leaders who traveled to the U.S.-Africa summit this week. Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, prime minister of Swaziland, told the Times of Swaziland that Vincent Ncongwane, secretary general of… [READ MORE]

Africa Summit: African Unions Say Prioritize Good Jobs, Worker Rights

African trade union leaders from across the continent called on U.S. and African leaders to adopt a decent work agenda for trade and economic growth where the creation of good jobs that respect worker rights and provide social protections will lead to greater shared prosperity. Union leaders discussed issues regarding jobs, development and investment at… [READ MORE]

Survey Reveals Abuse of Textile Workers in Swaziland

A recent survey by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) of more than 400 textile workers in Manzini, Swaziland, reveals that workers in the textile sector are subject to harsh and sometimes abusive conditions, many of the country’s labor laws are routinely violated by employers, and union activists are targeted by employers for punishment…. [READ MORE]

Swaziland Unions Call off Marches after Arrests, Intimidation

Swaziland’s union federation called off marches set for April 12 in the face of police intimidation and the reported arrests of prominent labor activists. Swazi courts declared the intended march illegal, even though union and student activists traditionally march on the historically significant date of April 12 to commemorate the 1973 ban on political parties… [READ MORE]