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Swazi union condemns garment company for not respecting workers’ rights

20 February, 2018Managament at Tex Ray companies in Swaziland are thwarting workers’ rights, including the right to freedom of association and to collective bargaining, by pushing for a sham union trying to organize members of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the Amalgamed Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA).

Although ATUSWA organizes more than 80 per cent of workers at Tex Ray companies, including Union Industrial Washing, Kasumi Apparels, TQM textiles and Katat, the company refuses to recognize the union and has instead formed a sham union.

Organizing through denouncing ATUSWA and using bribes to attract workers, the management-led union is aiming to get the necessary recognition at the Commission for Mediation Arbitration and Conciliation (CMAC) ahead of the finalization of ATUSWA’s recognition.

If buyers continue to source garments from the Tex Ray group of companies without ensuring that the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is respected, they are effectively collaborating with Tex Ray in undermining our rights as workers.

We call on the Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority and the department of labour to continuously engage employers on the importance of respecting workers’ rights. Tex Ray should not be allowed to take our country back to the past that we wish to escape from,

says ATUSWA Secretary General Wander Mkhonza.

“We stand by ATUSWA in their fight for recognition and reiterate workers' right to form their own trade union. Employers should not try to weaken an established trade union by sponsoring a sham union. We call upon CMAC to urgently conclude on ATUSWA’s recognition,“ says Paule France Ndessomin, IndustriALL regional secretary for Sub Saharan Africa.