BIG BEND: Umoba(PTY) LTD, a company operating in the sugar industry in Big Bend has fired its employees merely for exercising their Constitutional right to join a trade union.
Nhlanhla Nxumalo, the workers' representative told this Swaziland News that they were fired on Monday, the employer locked the gates preventing them from entering the work premises, this comes after the Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration Commission(CMAC) released the results where the employees voted to join the Swazi Economic Improvement Workers Union(SEIWU).
"We decided to join a union after realising that our rights were undermined as workers. We deliberated on this issue up until a head count was conducted, however the employer subsequently fired us" he said.
Marwick Dlamini, the Umoba Human Resources Manager had not responded to our questionnaire at the time of compiling this report.
But Wander Mkhonza, the Secretary General of the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland(ATUSWA) warned the workers against associating themselves with a union that always side with the employer instead of advocating for the welfare of employees.
"We can assist them in this situation but we can only do so after being instructed by SAPU, because the only legitimate union in Big Bend that we work with is SAPU. Workers should associate themselves with legitimate unions because the reason they are now frustrated moving from one Labour office to another without getting assistance is that the union they were trying to join does not promote and protect the interest of workers" said the ATUSWA Secretary General.
Efforts to reach Jabulani Nxumalo, the SEIWU Public Relations Officer(PRO) proved unsuccessful at the time of compiling this report.
UMOBA employees fires for joining a union