Swazi Teachers to Strike in June
Students protesting in Swaziland last Year
Swazi teachers are to vote on strike action on June 6th and 7th
This is the latest move in a protracted struggle by the Swazi teachers for a decent salary and properly funded education, under conditions where the southern African country is ruled by an absolute monarch. King Mswati III is at present visiting the UK with an entourage of 30 people for a dinner to celebrate the British queen's jubilee. He is reported to be staying in the Savoy hotel where rooms cost $630 a night. Meanwhile one of his 13 wives is staying in a luxury hotel in South Africa at the Swazi people's expense, while here son is treated in hospital because the Swazi health system is so impoverished. While the King and his entourage live it up, 70% 0f the Swazi people live in poverty.
The Swazi teachers union SNAT has been in the forefront of the struggle for democracy in that country along with the students. Many were arrested last year in protests inspired by the pro-democracy movement in the Middle East and North Africa. The Swazi government has already stopped one strike by the teachers this year by declaring it illegal. Now however the struggle continues as teachers go to vote on the new action.
Swaziland is named in the Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights as a state which violates workers' rights to strike and assemble.