SWAZILAND - National strike of civil servants against price rise

End of October the civil servants of Swaziland, mainly teachers and hospital workers, held a national strike against the rising prices in the last years. The striking workers demand a rising of their salary, in order to restore its value lost amid rising prices. Since 2016, while the prices have risen continuously, the wages didn't rise. The result was, that the real value of the wages has been reduced by about 20%. The striking workers demand a "Cost of Living Adjustment" (CoLA) of 7.85%.

The national rulers, Swaziland is still officially a monarchy with its king, fight hard to break the strike. The answer to the demand of the workers was the offer of 0.00% wage rise. At least 20 people were injured by rubber bullets, several, fearing identification and subsequent police harassment, have gone into hiding with untreated wounds. After one week of strike the monarchy tried to ban the national strike, because it "harms national interests". But the strike continued. Four public service unions have joined forces, they are the National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU), Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT), Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) and the Swaziland Government Accountants Personnel (SNAGAP). The government, which is not elected but handpicked by absolute monarch King Mswati III, is broke and has not paid suppliers.

The demonstration brought together tens of thousands of civil servants from over the country to the capital city of Mbabane. The workers are not afraid of the attacks from the monarch government, they struggle for their wages and for democratic rights.

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