The Industrial Court in the absolute monarchy of Swaziland (eSwatini) has banned a strike by public servants over pay because it is against ‘the national interest’.
Trade unions have been calling over the past three years for pay increases to meet rises in the cost of living.
Unions had taken strike action in September 2019 but this was banned temporarily. Now, the court has made a judgment to ban it completely.
The unions involved in the court case were the National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) and the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT).
Swazi police had used teargas, rubber bullets, water cannon and live ammunition during the strike. At least 15 people were injured. The violence happened in Mbabane after what local media called ‘a long day of peaceful protest’. The police brutality was condemned by international human rights observers.
Judge Abande Dlamini in his judgment said that the national interest had been threatened by the strike. He blamed the violence on the union members.
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