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Swazi govt instigates probe in garment sector
13
Feb '12
The Swaziland Government has launched its first ever investigation into the country's garment sector.

Allegations related to exploitation and under payment to workers as well as poor working conditions in the country's garment production units, prompted the Government to investigate into the matter, in cooperation with labour unions and the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC).

The committee investigating the probe is headed by Mduduzi Hlophe from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, while the case of workers is being put across by Mduduzi Gina, Secretary General of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU).

The committee is currently framing the terms of reference for the investigation to be carried out. In due course, experts from the International Labour Organization (ILO) are also likely to work with the committee, which will submit a report of its findings to the Government.

The committee will gather facts on the reality in garment manufacturing units across the country, especially in view of the fact that thousands of workers have often expressed their discontent over poor working condition and low wages, and have even resorted to strike and protest actions.

In the past, the Swaziland Manufacturing and Allied Workers Union (SMAWU), which represents industrial workers, had challenged garment unit owners over poor wages, but had met with limited success.

Most of the garment manufacturing units in Swaziland are located in the Matsapha industrial region, and a few of them are situated at Buhleni and Bhlangano. A single garment unit operating in Matsanjeni was shut down last year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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