Govt bans TUCOSWA's '˜prayer' planned for today
MBABANE – Government has banned TUCOSWA’s commemoration
prayer which was supposed to be held today at the Caritas Centre, Manzini.
The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) said it wanted to stage a commemoration prayer to celebrate its year of inception.
However, government, through its Spokesman Percy Simelane, issued a statement yesterday, declaring today’s intended prayer commemoration illegal.
Simelane said government would not allow the prayer to go ahead because to government’s knowledge, TUCOSWA was not a legal entity as per a recent ruling of the Industrial Court.
"It is notified for general information, that following the decision of the Industrial Court of Swaziland under Case No. 342 of 2012, the entity previously known as the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) is not a worker federation in terms of the law.
"The said entity was declared not to be a workers’ federation under the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 2000, because there is no provision in the said Act for the registration of federations," said Simelane.
He said consequently, TUCOSWA cannot and is not capable of convening meetings of workers or any other activities of workers involving labour relations issues.
"Any meeting or activity organised by the entity would be illegal and His Majesty’s Government will not allow any such activities to be undertaken by the said entity," he said.
He said the court judgment bears no negative implications for collective bargaining and other worker rights at the shop floor and industry levels and further expressed government’s commitment to working together with its social partners in finding an amicable way forward in the spirit of the court order and International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.
"Government has been reliably informed that there is a proposed gathering disguised as a prayer service organised by the same entity. Government has noted that the function is being organised by an entity which is neither a religious institution nor a registered federation of workers in terms of the laws of the country," he said.
Simelane said government is committed to working together with its social partners in finding an amicable way forward in the spirit of the court order and ILO Conventions.
"The public, is therefore, urged to be patient while consultations with all the relevant stakeholders in relation to the amendments are ongoing," he said.
TUCOSWA was declared illegal by the Industrial Court last week following a protracted battle with government over its registration.
The court ruled that in terms of the Industrial Relations Act, the federation did not exist because there was no provision allowing the formation of the entity.
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