Press conference Wednesday: ITF mission to Swaziland reports

February 25, 2014

Swaziland and South Africa-based media are invited to a press conference in Mbabane, Swaziland, on Wednesday to hear the results of a two day fact-finding mission to investigate labour conditions and allegations of severe anti-trade union actions by the Swazi government.

The mission has been mounted by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and comprises Stuart Howard, ITF assistant general secretary; Joe Katende, ITF Africa regional secretary; and Abner Tabudi Ramakgolo, ITF regional chair and an official of SATAWU (South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union). They will report on their initial findings and meetings with, among others, representatives of the Swazi prime minister, at the press conference on Wednesday 27 March at 17:45 at 1st Floor, Mbabane House, Corner of Gwamile & Mahlokohla Street, Mbabane.

Speaking ahead of the press conference, ITF assistant general secretary Stuart Howard said: “We’re here in Swaziland to answer the call of our affiliated union, the Swaziland Transport & Allied Workers’ Union (STAWU) and look into the serious concerns it has raised.”

He continued: “Although we are here to investigate we have also come to drive home key messages on three particular areas of concern. These are: that the attempts to remove airport workers’ right to strike must cease; that the politically motivated charges against STAWU legal officer Bazel Tfwala must be dropped and he be immediately released from wrongful imprisonment for legitimate trade union activities; and that Swaziland must not seek to block the basic right of freedom of association – and the formation of a national trade union centre.”

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