It is now clear that civil servants will continue to struggle with stagnant salaries for the next five(5) years, at this juncture trade unions should be blamed for failing to lobby government employees for a mass industrial action.
Civil servants are subscribing as members of the unions but these entities are failing to come-up with a clear plan that would force Government to consider awarding civil servants Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) and or a salary increase.
On Tuesday, the Public Sector Association(PSAs) were told that government might consider reviewing salaries by the year 2024 after receiving a report from a consultant, this is a clear delaying tactic by the regime.
Firstly, the current Cabinet is aware that by 2024, there would be a new government and they are shifting this mess to the next Cabinet.
The next Cabinet might claim to be new in office and request more time to discuss the matter, at the end, civil servants will be left with nothing in their pockets but false hopes.
But whenever these trade unions attend the negotiations meetings they always come back with the same answer that does not add any value to the lives of the civil servants, on the other hand, these financial struggling government employees will continue paying subscriptions.
It should be noted that the Industrial Relations Act 2000, is very clear on what should be done in the event Government as the employer undermined the rights of the civil servants particularly, on issues surrounding salary reviews.
But we are seeing these trade unions running to the courts of the oppressor trying to enforce the rights of employees and that would be the end.
Legally, it might be an appropriate decision to approach the courts but what do you do in a country where the judiciary is accountable to the dictator?
The power to force Government to award civil servants a salary increase is not with the captured courts but is vested in the collective action or voice of the oppressed civil servants.
It is the duty of the unions to capacitate these Government employees with information on how this regime plays politics in this matter and subsequently lobby them to participate in an industrial action in numbers.
Government is always represented by the office of the Attorney General(AG) and the costs are paid by taxpayers, taking Government to court will never change the financial situation of the civil servants but it will always remain a delaying tactic for the regime.
It is only a mass protest action that normally forces an oppressive Government to consider the grievances of the masses not endless court cases.
In this regard, it is important to state that there is no crime in defying unjust laws, this Government always stops protests and legal strikes through a court order signed by captured Judges and the leaders of these trade unions have no ideas on what to do thereafter.
While government claims to be broke, Mswati continues to live a lavish lifestyle with taxpayers money and as long as trade unions ignore the calls to remove Mswati from power, they will continue fighting a losing battle through the courts owned by the King.
But despite the failure by trade unions leaders, civil servants contributed immensely to their financial struggles, some always snub protests and strike actions organised by trade unions in fear of the “no work, no pay” rule.
One wonders what can you achieve in life if you are not prepared to lose something in order to gain something?
We can blame trade unions leaders but at the same time, we must understand that it’s not easy to force this Government to increase salaries of the civil servants without the collective efforts of the workers.
Even soldiers and the police who are financially struggling contributed to their plight by shooting protesting civil servants who were fighting for their welfare as well.
It is therefore important for members of the security forces to understand that as long as they continue arresting trade unions leaders,shooting and assaulting protesting civil servants, they will continue to sink deeper into poverty.
Working for Government is no longer an achievement in this country and we hope civil servants will one day come together and participate in an industrial action that seeks to force Government to review their salaries.
As the situation stands, with soldiers and the police trying to be heroes in the eyes regime yet they are trapped into financial challenges, civil servants might be soon be counted among the about 70% of the population living below the poverty line.