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Strike suspended as Crooks Plantation Management, workers sign agreement.

Saturday, 6th April, 2024

BIG-BEND:Crooks Plantation, an agricultural company situated at Big-Bend,has signed a memorandum of agreement with its employees in an exercise conducted by the Coalition, Mediation and Arbitration Commission(CMAC).

The agreement, according to documents in our possession, was conducted this week in terms of the Industrial Relations Act of 2000 as amended.

On Friday 5th April 2024, Ncamsile Shongwe, the CMAC Commissioner led the signing of the agreement suspending the strike action pending further engagements on the outstanding issues to be finalized within a period of four(4) months from the signing of the agreement.

Sanele Sihlongonyane, the Branch Chairperson of the Swaziland Agricultural Workers Union(SAPWU) confirmed that, the strike action has been suspended after reaching an agreement with the employer.

“Finally today we signed the agreement with the employer, we achieved what we were looking for, it wasn’t easy but we salute all the social partners and other sister unions.We appreciate the effort of the Commissioner of Labour as the strike was suspended last week but we finally signed today,” said the Swaziland Agricultural Workers Union(SAPWU) Branch Chairperson.

Reached for comments on the subject matter, Wander Mkhonza, the Secretary General(SG) of the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland(ATUSWA) applauded the workers for demonstrating unity and resilience during the entire strike action.

“We applaud these workers for reminding all of us through their demonstration, that unity never fails. Through out this process, particularly the leadership demonstrated that fulfilling the mandate of the workers is still possible and honourable. We trust the employer has learned a valuable lesson that when there are disputes in the workplace,it is only dialogue that can resolve issues as opposed to arrogance.We encourage the Crooks Plantations workers to protect one another because most of the time employers target worker leaders after such activities. We shouldn’t forget that an injury to one is an injury to all,” said the ATUSWA Secretary General.

A questionnaire was sent to Winile Mthimkhulu,the Crooks Plantation Human Resources Manager,however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

On another note,the workers who were on  strike action for over a month were demanding amongst others,education and severance allowance, retirement gratuity and funeral assistance.

The employees are also demanding 12.5% salary increment and provision of transport to and from Nkilongo, job description and transport to health facilities.

Strike suspended as Crooks Plantation Management, workers sign agreement.
Crooks Plantation Management workers sign agreement, strike suspended.