5 July 2014

Swaziland: Sugar Strikers Win Pay Increase

Striking workers at Swaziland's Ubombo Sugar Company have won a 10 percent pay increase, despite suffering intimidation by the Swazi Army and state security forces.

The workers had been on strike for more than three weeks at the sugar company which is 40 percent owned by King Mswati III, the absolute monarch of Swaziland.

The management of the company, which is also known as Illovo, had successfully obtained a court order to restrict the workers pickets away from the main sugar plantation estate, near Big Bend.

Earlier, state police the Operational Support Services Unit (OSSU) had used teargas and water canon to disperse protesting workers.

Media in Swaziland reported that soldiers, warders and police were deployed throughout the small town to stop workers from disrupting the sugar plant.

The Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, estimated the strike had cost Ubombo E2.4 million (US$240,000) since it began on 13 June 2014. The management had originally offered a 7.5 percent pay increase.

Copyright © 2014 Swazi Media Commentary. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.