Thursday, February 26, 2015

Communist Party of Swaziland Calls on Swazi Workers to Defend TUCOSWA Against Pro-Mswati Bogus Union
23 February 2015

The Mswati regime is stepping up its attacks on the labour movement and the working class of Swaziland, in particular through its repression of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA).

In its latest assault, the Mswati regime is sponsoring a rival “union”, the Swaziland Economic Improvement Workers Union (SEIWU). This is a totally spurious association. Its sole purpose is to confound the efforts of TUCOSWA to act as a progressive federation that upholds the interests of the organised working class.

SEIWU is aggressively recruiting from TUCOSWA strongholds. It claims to have 6 000 members, and vows to concentrate on recruiting from the sugar belt and the rest of the agricultural sector.

SEIWU’s message to the Swazi working class is ‘don’t rock the boat’. Its avowed aim is to further “economic stability and harmonious relations in the workplace”. This is Mswati-speak for supporting the regime and ensuring that workers are docile and pliant to the will of employers and government.

SEIWU is our enemy. It is a threat to worker unity and is a threat to the ability of the working class to develop its militancy against one of the most anti-democratic and exploitative regimes in the world.

SEIWU must be stopped at all costs. We must expose and end its campaign of winning over members from unions affiliated to TUCOSWA. Its aim is to drain support from TUCOSWA and to ensure that trade unions are Mswati’s toothless lapdogs, when they should be the vigilant anti-regime guard dogs of the working class.

The regime has waged continual campaigns to eradicate TUCOSWA as the voice of progressive trade unionism. First, it deregistered the union, a move that provoked widespread international condemnation. Then it waged a dirty tricks campaign to emasculate TUCOSWA’s finances. More recently, it ‘banned’ TUCOSWA by putting an end to all employer and employee federations. This last move also sought to centralize all tripartite collective bargaining through the state. But TUCOSWA lives and is undeterred.

Trade union issues in Swaziland have little relevance or meaning unless they address the need to end autocratic rule and institute a democratic dispensation where all political parties and movements are free to operate. Trade Unions exist to wage and win the class struggle against class exploitation.

The Communist Party of Swaziland urges all trade union affiliates to TUCOSWA to protect the federation, and for those members of unions that have signed up to SEIWU to leave the organization. SEIWU does not have your interests at heart, only Mswati’s interests.

Long live TUCOSWA long live!
Viva workers unity viva!
Down with bogus unions down!

Kenneth Kunene
General Secretary
Mobile: +27 72 594 3971

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