News / Africa

Workers Demand Pay Increase as Swazi King Celebrates Birthday

King of Swaziland Mswati III (Front) and one of his 13 wives disembark from a plane after arriving at Katunayake International airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 13, 2012. (Reuters)King of Swaziland Mswati III (Front) and one of his 13 wives disembark from a plane after arriving at Katunayake International airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 13, 2012. (Reuters)
x
King of Swaziland Mswati III (Front) and one of his 13 wives disembark from a plane after arriving at Katunayake International airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 13, 2012. (Reuters)
King of Swaziland Mswati III (Front) and one of his 13 wives disembark from a plane after arriving at Katunayake International airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 13, 2012. (Reuters)
Peter Clottey
The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) is demanding better living conditions for public sector workers as the government prepares to celebrate King Mswati III’s 45th birthday Friday.

“If there was any kind of improvement in the economy of the country, which can result in birthday parties for those that are in authority to be held [then] the first entry point will be increase in the salaries of workers,” said Nduduzi Gina, first deputy secretary general of TUCOSWA.

The government has declared Friday a national public holiday to celebrate the king’s birthday.

Gina questioned the rationale behind the celebrations since the government recently announced there would be no salary increases for public sector workers for the next three years.

Gina called on the government to agree to workers’ demands for better conditions, contending that the administration plans to spend millions of dollars during the celebrations. The government has yet to meet with the union to begin salary negotiations.

“Because we are still to enter into collective negotiations, we are hopeful we would be awarded the percentage that we would table in the joint negotiation forum with the government, because we have seen then that, yes, it would appear the economy of the country has improved,” said Gina.

The government says the country has yet to recover from the global economic downturn, which officials say makes it difficult to meet workers’ demands.    

Gina disagreed, saying extravagant nationwide celebrations for the king’s birthday are an indication that the economy has improved.

“For us it is adequate evidence that clearly there is an improvement in the economy of the country, and hence the engines of the economy are the workers and they must be accordingly awarded,” said Gina.

 Meanwhile, members of the Swaziland Youth Congress (Swayoco) plan to hold demonstrations in the capital, Mbabane to protest the birthday celebrations.

Officials have denied social media reports that the government has received 32 luxury BMW automobiles as a birthday gift to the king.                              

King Mswati III came under criticism after the media reported that he received a private jet, worth an estimated $46 million, for his birthday last year. He explained the plane was a gift from an unnamed admirer. 

Some analysts have criticized what they say is King Mswati’s concentration of power. They say it is so great -- despite the 2006 reintroduction of a constitution -- that the country can be considered an absolute monarchy.
Clottey interview with Nduduzi Gina,TUCOSWA official
Clottey interview with Nduduzi Gina,TUCOSWA officiali
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid