Cosatu wants to shut eSwatini border gates over Swazi workers' pay strike

25 September 2019 - 07:02 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Cosatu plans to protest at border posts in solidarity with striking eSwatini public servants.
Cosatu plans to protest at border posts in solidarity with striking eSwatini public servants.
Image: Gallo Images

The Congress of SA Trade Unions has vowed to shut down the country's borders with eSwatini in solidarity with a strike there by public servants. 

Hundreds of government workers in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) were expected to embark on a national strike over salary increments on Wednesday.

The federation's Mpumalanga spokesperson Thabo Mokoena said Cosatu would protest in solidarity by blocking three border gates between SA and eSwatini. The affected borders are Mahamba, Matsamo and Oshoek.

“As Cosatu, we will embark on border protest action in support of a strike by the National Public Services & Allied Workers Union, as part of our initiatives to pledge international solidarity to workers even outside our borders,” said Mokoena.

Speaking of the protesters' demands, Mokoena said they wanted better pay and salary increments after they had not received increments for three consecutive years.

“There are quite a number of issues, but I think the most important is that of 7.8% salary adjustment and better working conditions,” he said.

Mokoena said protesters would gather at the country’s capital, Mbabane, on Wednesday morning.

Other issues which workers had cited included calls for the country to be governed democratically to allow for workers to have a voice, according to Cosatu.

“As things stands, workers don’t enjoy their rights, they have a king that does not attend to their needs. Workers want the introduction of a legislation that would protect workers and permit for labour unions,” added Mokoena.

Mokoena said the strike began last week but would soon intensify as more organisations joined in solidarity.


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