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MBABANE – The participation of His Majesty King Mswati III at the ILO Conference has encouraged TUCOSWA to continue to represent the interest of its members without being intimidated by  employers and the government as has been the case in the past.

This is because the federation has viewed the participation as recognition and a renewed commitment by the Kingdom of Eswatini to the values and objectives of the organisation.

The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (tucoswa) members paid a courtesy call to His Majesty at the ongoing conference on Tuesday.


In a statement issued yesterday, the federation said the meeting with His Majesty was welcomed by not just it but the entire organised workers of the world.
“This was a direct renewal of the vows that the country took when it joined the ILO in 1975.

We were pleased to hear His Majesty in his address to the Conference, reaffirming and restating that universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice,” reads part of the statement which was issued by TUCOSWA Acting Secretary General Mduduzi  Gina.

TUCOSWA is part of the tripartite Eswatini delegation attending the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference currently taking place in Geneva – Switzerland. 

This year’s conference coincided with the celebration of 100 years of ILO’s existence and it was arguable the biggest since the establishment of the organisation, with an estimated 6 000 delegates as opposed to the usual slightly above 3 000 delegates in the past years. It had a lot of firsts; among them being the presence of His Majesty King Mswati III, who was attending for the first time.

Gina stated that the commitment for the repositioning and the ultimate intended re-launch of the social dialogue, specifically pronounced at the highest level, gave them hope that issues affecting the labour market and all its players would now be attended to with rejuvenated power.

“TUCOSWA, it being a creature of collective bargaining, unreservedly welcome the intended initiative and we shall see through its realisation. His Majesty further committed the country to an ILO Voluntary Assessment Programme, this to us was a command to social partners, specifically the government, who is the overall supervisor, to make sure that as a country we adhere to the expected standards of the ILO and in haste move towards mending the ways on any outstanding issues and further put in place mechanisms to manage any possible future challenges,” he highlighted.  He explained that the federation was fairly cognisant of the fact that the workplace was an interest contested terrain which resulted in an inherent conflict that could be eradicated.


“But the conflict can be managed and suppressed to acceptable levels for peace and social justice to be realised. The walls of the United Nations Building proved indeed to be the hub for social dialogue as they housed the first meeting between His Majesty the King and TUCOSWA and the ITUC,” Gcina said.

Furthermore, he said the command by His Majesty for the opening of a new page in the industrial relations sphere was well received and so loud that it encouraged the federation to continue to represent the interests of its members without being intimidated by the employers and the government as has been in the past.

In vernacular he said, “Atawuphel’ emahlatsi (there will be no hide and seek).  We view the meeting as a positive step towards eradication of the use of the King’s name to conceal failures of individuals in administration,” he said.

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