14 April 2011
Labour Coordinating Council
APRIL 12 PROTEST ACTION
The Labour Coordinating Council, which comprises of the Swaziland Federation of Labour, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions and Swaziland National Association of Teachers, embarked on a protest action to promote and defend issues of socio economic interest billed for the 12th to the 15th April 2011.
The LCC held a crisis meeting at the SNAT Centre on the 13th April 2011, resolved and observed as follows;
The protest action was lawful in all aspects. However workers were very surprised and angered by the government's decision to arbitrarily ban this legal protest action. Thousands of workers participated in this action but were met with brute force unleashed by the armed forces on the instruction of the Prime Minister.
Hundreds of workers were subjected to violence, assaults, arrests, detentions and other forms of abuse, despite the legality of the action.
Our assessment is that the action was a resounding success. Workers have exposed the undemocratic nature of the Swaziland government and clearly sent a message to our people and the entire world that the time for multiparty democracy in Swaziland is now.
To this end, we wish to salute the Swazi workers and the entire Civic Society for this gallant effort. Our salute further goes to the friends of the Swazi struggle for their solidarity and sacrifice.
The LCC seeing the danger and frustrations to members and the leadership, decided to call for a sit in and a night vigil at the SNAT Centre on the 13th April 2011. However, a contingent of around 500 joint state security personnel forcefully broke into the premises of the Teachers Union Centre and physically searched the around 400 demonstrators gathered there. The force then pushed all the workers into the mist of the night. We are still compiling reports on the specifics of those that are missing.
The action has been officially suspended pending a decision of a General Council meeting as referred to below.
A Joint General Council meeting will be held on the 19th April 2011, starting at the SNAT Centre starting at 9hrs00 to decide on the way forward.
SFTU, SFL, SNAT.