MBABANE:Mduduzi Gina, the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) said they will honor the late vibrant political activist Jan Sithole by fighting for the E3,500.00 national minimum wage.
Speaking to this Swaziland News in an exclusive interview on Friday, the TUCOSWA Secretary encouraged workers to be united as the federation prepares to organize series of protests that seeks to call for the banning of labour brokers and the E3,500.00 national minimum wage.
“Employers are currently manipulating the minimum wage that was meant to ease the burden for new companies in that particular industry. Now we are seeing companies particularly in the textile industry that were fully operational for the past fifteen (15) years paying employees low wages equivalent to that of a company that has been operating for a mere six (6) months. The employer who has been operating for the past six months is expected to engage the unions and raise the salaries instead of being stagnant in the minimum wage” he said.
The Secretary General clarified that the issue of national minimum wage is different from the basic minimum wage in that it seeks to set the standard suggesting that all workers in the country regardless of their duties in the different industries, should not be paid less that E3,500.00.
“But that doesn’t mean employers will be expected to pay the E3,500.00, unions will continue to engage them to pay more through negotiations. For now, you find that two electricians who were trained at SCOT and obtained a Diploma in Electrical Engineering, one gets employed in the Textile and Apparel and the Gazette indicates that he must be paid salary X and for the other electrician with same qualifications who work at the Manufacturing and Processing, the Gazette will indicate a different salary. We are saying this is wrong, the must be a national minimum wage suggesting that anyone who gets employed cannot be paid less than this amount” said the TUCOSWA Secretary General.