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MBABANE – “There is no way we are going back to work.” This was an outright response given by the on strike Sincephetelo Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (SMVAF) to their union, SUFIAW.
SUFIAW is an acronym for Swaziland Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers.

This was after the union’s Organising Secretary Vincent Ncongwane pleaded with the workers to resume their duties at the organisation with effect from today.
The adamant employees questioned why the union insisted on them resuming work, asking whether it was because they had no money to cater for the ‘no work, no pay’ rule. They argued that the employer would relax and not respond to their demands if they gave in and stopped their strike action.

Ncongwane continued to plead with the workers and said they wanted to strategise on an effective time for the strike action to carry on.
According to Ncongwane, the ‘waya waya’ would not help the employees but they had to be very strategic in playing the game, something which was emphasised in the boardroom before engaging in the strike action.
“For now, the union committee had considered that they would pay in full all on-strike employees for the three days, if you report back to work. But since you are refusing to return to work, we will report back to the union that we have failed to reach any agreement,” he said.

Ncongwane told the employees who were in disagreement that for the past three days, they had conveyed a message to their employer that they were capable of protesting.
He tried convincing the employees to call off the ongoing strike action and start working today, which was completely objected to by the employees.
The employees are on strike following SMVAF’s failure to implement the job evaluation and salary review report in terms of an agreement signed between the two parties. They are also demanding that the company pays the shortfall of 1.2 per cent on cost of living settlement.

SMVAF said the matter of the 1.2 per cent had been deferred for SCOPE’s approval as per Public Enterprise Unit (PEU) requirements.
When sought for comment, PEU Director Busangani Mkhaliphi said all requests were forwarded to the minister’s office.
Mkhaliphi said responses could best be tackled by the ministry’s PS.

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