COURT CONFIRMS THE AMALGAMATED STATUS OF ATUSWA

26 April 2018

The Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA) welcomes the Court Decision handed down today, the 26th of April 2018, on the matter between ATUSWA and those who were calling themselves SMAWU, a union that amalgamated with various unions to form ATUSWA. The Industrial Court of Swaziland confirmed the FACT that ATUSWA is a union formed through an amalgamation process which was started by the Swaziland Processing, Refining and Allied Workers Union (SPRAWU) and the Swaziland Manufacturing and Allied workers Union (SMAWU), giants that live in the belly of ATUSWA as a result of the amalgamation.

In a landmark judgement the Industrial Court found that “Section 41 also provides very clearly that the newly formed entity is a trade union. Section 41 (c) provides that “In the event of amalgamation, the newly constituted organization shall assume all the rights and duties of its predecessor organization….”. As pointed out in the judgement, in terms of Section 2, the interpretation Section, ‘organization’ means a trade union. There was nothing wrong or unlawful by the Commissioner of Labour when he registered the newly formed organization as a trade union. The position of the law is very clear and unambiguous that trade unions may amalgamate and form a trade union. The finding of the Court was in contrast to the views of the surrogates of division and backwardness who were buoyed by satanic forces within government, capital and some divisive elements within labour who are happy to see weak and segmented labour. All those who openly or secretly supported this attempt to divide our union should be ashamed of themselves.

In seamless findings the Court also find that; “In the light of the evidence before the Court, the proper application of the law is that all trade unions that amalgamated ceased to exist and are defunct. Their membership, rights and duties were assumed by the newly formed trade union, ATUSWA.

We are conscious that those who challenged the unions were nothing but representatives of people who sit in dark corners who are happy to see the trade union movement divided. We are also not happy with the manner in which those whom we had expected to support us were almost ready to give us to the wolves; to them we say time will tell.

We wish to acknowledgement the support within trade union movement including TUCOSWA our federation who provided support when the union was incapacitated to represent its members as a result of the court challenge which has since been dismissed with heavy costs.

We are indebted to our global union IndustriALL who stood by our organization when it was not fashionable to do so. We were able to keep the fires burning because of the support we received from IndustriALL. Their support has left a big mark and made us realize that solidarity knows no boundaries.

To the employers who took advantage of the situation in order to frustrate the right to Freedom of Association and Collective bargaining we say shame to them. Workers of this land made an informed decision to form this giant and in fulfilling their choice they made a decision to stand behind their union and their leadership and they will go down in history as a people who stood for their right when odds were stacked against them

 

Issued by;

Wander Mkhonza

Secretary General

FAR EAST TEXTILES THREATEN WORKERS FOR EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT.

22 March 2018

The Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA) is amazed by the level of abuse, the worst so far being dished out by Far East Textiles (PTY) LTD against its employees. It is shocking that a company like this would even be allowed to operate in a country which supposedly respect workers’ rights not to mention it being able to produce for a market which insist on adherence to the dictates of international agreements.

In the past 2 days Far East have done what other employers would dare do in a year. Just for joining our organization and for showing interest to join ATUSWA the company unleashed terror to the workers by threatening not to pay their wages, closing down the factory and dismissing those suspected to have joined the union. The company also coerced the workers to beat up union officials and organizers and when this satanic plan was not carried out the employer decided to take things to her own hands by unleashing management to go out of the company gates to look out and take pictures of all those who are seen interacting with the union deployees and signing membership forms.

We are aware that some of the work being done at Far East is originally meant for companies which recognizes trade unions in general, in particular our own. Work meant for workers should not be done by slaves for Far East workers work like slaves because they are forced to work unpaid overtime for failing to meet unreasonably high targets, forced to work until 1900hrs or 2300hrs and forced to walk long distances in the still of the night as a result of the company’s failure to provide transport.

We call on the Department of Labour to ensure that workers are protected against such abuse and inhumane treatment. We also call on all those doing business with Far East to ensure that the company toe the justice line. To the workers we say do not despair, ATUSWA is here to work with you to improve your individual and collective conditions. The only weapon we have in our endeavor of ensuring that we have a fighting chance is to unite.

 

Issued by

 

National Office Bearers

Swazi union condemns garment company for not respecting workers’ rights

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Management at Tex Ray companies in Swaziland are thwarting workers’ rights, including the right to freedom of association and to collective bargaining, by pushing for a sham union trying to organize members of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA).

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Yesterday, SMAWU leaders led by Legal Advisor Shadrack Masuku, delivered a petition spelling it out that TUCOSWA was not welcome to engage their members and should instead, advise employers that they (SMAWU branch leaders) were mandated by workers to enter and conclude wage negotiations in different branches.

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ATUSWA WELCOMES THE INTERIM ORDER ON ATUSWA VS “smawu” COURT CASE.

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