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Founding Agreement & Constitution
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BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNION

Swaziland Economic Improvement Workers Union is a newly established entity which represents employees in work places in all sectors.

Founded by 8 people from various academic, work and unemployment backgrounds, they combined their previous life experiences with shop stewards, unions and employers to create the concept that is SEIWU.

We are a Christian principled Union which adheres to our aims and objectives as presented in our founding constitution Article 3.

On the 16 February, 2012, the union was registered with the Commissioner of Labor under Section 27 of the Industrial Relations Act of 2000, as amended and is recognized by the Swaziland Government.

The union‘s mode of operation is different from any other in the country although the mandate is uniform - “to regulate the relationship between the employer and employee in a conducive environment”.

  • SEIWU is viewed as an economic improvement tool benefiting the employer, the employee, the unemployed, the Kingdom of Swaziland, business people and investors in and out of the country.
  • SEIWU respectfully views the employer and employee as equal partners in the workplace (50/50) and recognise that both of these prominent figures need each other: the employer needs labour for sustainability of his business and the employee needs financial reward and experience for personal growth and well- being.
  • SEIWU's uniqueness rests in the mandate of working with a Front Door Policy thus enabling a better mutual understanding between employers and employees.
  • All members of the union are covered by a Burial Scheme.

 

Download Founding Agreement

Founding Agreement for SEIWU

Principles
The Swaziland Economic Improvement Workers Union will be based on the following Christian Biblical principles:

        • We shall honour and respect our King the Ngwenyama as the leader and ruler of Swaziland
        • We shall honour and respect our Government
        • We shall respect the Employer and work hard to advance our Business
        • We shall expect the Employer to offer fair terms and conditions of employment

Vision
Our vision is to enhance the economy of Swaziland through hard work and a friendly, enjoyable and healthy relationship between Employer and Employee, to provide employment for our People and stability for our Business, our Government and our King, the Ingwenyama.

Mission
Our Mission is to work towards creating better employment opportunities in Swaziland so that the free market forces of strong demand replace strike action in driving wage increases and enable our People who have been forced to seek employment in South Africa to return home to be with their families and serve their country.

Focus
Our focus will be on assisting employees to keep their jobs and creating opportunities for better jobs.

Goal
Our Goal will be to create more jobs with better working conditions.

Benefits
For an initial monthly fee of E20 we will offer our members the following:

  • A deduction of E9.50 from the initial subscription fee will be for a  funeral scheme contributing E3,000.00 towards funeral costs (Imali Yeliso)  for a Member or a member of his or her immediate family*
  • The remainder  will work towards meeting the Unions objective, Vision ,Mission and Goal as stated above in our quest to enhance the economy of Swaziland

We propose to offer 5 or 10 year pre-negotiated wage packages to companies wishing to open businesses in Swaziland to enhance employment and economic growth.

Download SEIWU Constitution

Constitution of Swazi Economic
Improvement Workers Union

(“SEIWU”)

 2011

Article 1: Interpretation

   
  • “Members” shall mean persons registered by the Union as Members
  • “Branch” shall mean the governing body representing employees at a particular   workplace or workplaces
  • “Shop stewards” shall mean employee representatives at a particular workplace
  • “Branch Executive Committee” shall mean Executive Officers at Branch level
  • “Branch Congress” shall mean the annual meeting of the Branch Executive  Committee and Branch Members  
  • “National Executive Committee” shall mean Executive Officers at National level
  • “General Council” shall mean the consultative body consisting of National Executive Committee members, Branch Chairpersons, Branch Secretaries and Trustees
  • “General Congress” shall mean the annual meeting of the National Executive Committee and all Branch Executive Committee members
  • “General Meeting” shall mean a meeting of all Members and Union Executives
  • “Board of Trustees” shall mean the governing body of Trustees
 

Article 2: Name & Registered Office

   
  • The name of the Union is Swazi Economic Improvement Workers Union, herein after referred to as “SEIWU” or the “Union”.
  • The registered office of the Union shall be at Benguni House, Office No. 6, Po Box 1356, Nhlangano.
  • Any change of location of the registered office shall be brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Labour within fourteen [14] days of the change having taken place.
 

Article 3: Aims & Objectives

  The Aims & Objectives of the Union are:
  3.1 To enable progressively minded individuals to develop a framework within which to promote constructive engagement in industrial relations, to improve conditions of collective bargaining and create an environment conducive to job creation and job satisfaction to the benefit of Swaziland and its stakeholders
  3.2 To advance and defend the interest of workers in respect of all matters of mutual interest between workers and their employers
  3.3  To secure fair terms and conditions of employment and enforce fair labour practices
  3.4  To represent employees in all sectors, including but not limited to the manufacturing, processing and timber, security and services industries
  3.5 To regulate the relations and to settle disputes between members and management and between members by amicable agreement wherever possible
  3.6 To maintain a friendly enjoyable and healthy relationship between employers and employees
  3.7  To increase levels of employment in Swaziland by actively trying to bring investments into the Kingdom whilst at the same time having to regard to its goal of providing for better remuneration and working conditions
  3.8  To offer a five [5] to ten [10] years pre-negotiated wage package to Companies wishing to invest in Swaziland, to enhance employment and economic growth, subject to the minimum rate of wages as provided by the relevant Wages Regulation as may periodically be promulgated in terms of the Wages Act.

Article 4: Members

  4.1 Founding members
The Union was formed by signature of a Founding Agreement and the signatories to the Founding Agreement shall be the Founding Members of the Union.
  4.2 Members
    4.2.1 Any person employed in any industry shall be eligible for membership irrespective of gender, race, colour, nationality, creed, social standing, political opinion, belief or health status.
    4.2.2 New Members shall pay an enrolment fee upon registration which shall operate as the member’s subscription fee for the remainder of the first month of his/her membership. 
    4.2.3 The initial enrollment fee shall be E20.00 and the initial subscription fee shall be E20.00 per month payable on or before the first day of each month.
    4.2.4  Thereafter the Board of Trustees shall determine the amount of the enrolment and subscription fees on an annual basis to take effect from the date of the next General Meeting.
    4.2.5 A member shall be required to be fully paid up to attend meetings, vote in the election of Officers, nominate a candidate for any office, be nominated for, elected to or hold any office.
  4.3   Unemployed Members
    4.3.1 Unemployed “members” shall not be required to pay monthly subscription fees or levies until such time as they have obtained employment.  Their membership will be suspended until such employees find alternative employment in an industry falling within the Union’s Constitution [effectively there will cease to be members in the true sense].
    4.3.2 Unemployed “members” shall not be entitled to vote in any meeting or hold office in any of the Governing Bodies.
  4.4 Applicant Members
    4.4.1 Unemployed persons who wish to become members shall upon registration become Applicant Members.
    4.4.2 The Union shall endeavor to obtain employment for Applicant Members to enable them to become Members
    4.4.3 Applicant members shall not be entitled to attend or vote at any meeting or be office bearers in any of the Governing Bodies.
  4.5 Suspension and Expulsion of Members and Officers
    4.5.1 A member may have his membership suspended or be expelled from Office for any one or more of the following grounds:
      4.5.1.1 Bringing the Organization into disrepute
      4.5.1.2  Failure or refusal to abide by a Resolution of any of the Governing Bodies of the Organization
      4.5.1.3 Dishonesty in his role as a member or the conduct of his duties as an office bearer
      4.5.1.4 Acting against the interests of the Union or against the letter or spirit of the Constitution
      4.5.1.5 Failing to pay subscription fees for three months or more
    4.5.2 Suspension or expulsion from office shall be subject to the Disciplinary Procedure of the Union which shall provide that the affected Officer or Member shall:
      4.5.2.1 Be fully informed in writing of the allegations against him
      4.5.2.2 Have an opportunity to be heard on those allegations
      4.5.2.3 Have a right of appeal to a special or general meeting of the Union.
         

Article 5: National Executive Committee

  5.1 The National Executive Committee shall consist of the following Executive Officers:
    5.1.1 National Chairperson
    5.1.2 National Secretary
    5.1.3 National Treasurer
    5.1.4 Chief Financial Officer
    5.1.5  Regional Secretary for Hhohho
    5.1.6 Regional Secretary for Manzini
    5.1.7 Regional Secretary for Lubombo
    5.1.8 Regional Secretary for Shiselweni
  5.2 The Founding Members shall appoint the first National Executive Committee to hold office until the first General Congress.
  5.3 The Chief Financial Officer shall be appointed by the Trustees in consultation with the Treasurer and remunerated from the funds of the Union.
         

Article 6: Branch Executive Committees

  6.1 The Branch Executive Committees shall consist of the following Executive Officers:
    6.1.1 Branch Chairperson
    6.1.2 Branch Secretary
    6.1.3  Branch Treasurer
  6.2  Branch Executive Committees shall ensure that Members elect Shop stewards from amongst themselves at each workplace.
         

Article 7: The General Council

  7.1 The General Council shall consist of National Executive Committee, Branch Chairpersons, Branch Secretaries and Trustees.
  7.2 The General Council shall provide a forum for the National Executives and Trustees to meet Branch Executives every three months to discuss and review policies, programs and other Union issues.
  7.3 The General Council shall appoint the Union Auditors.
  7.4 Any decision, whether or not to participate in peaceful protest action called by a Federation to which the Union is affiliated will be taken at a meeting of the General Council.
         

Article 8: Board of Trustees

  8.1  The Board of Trustees shall consist of a Chairman and not less than four and not more than ten Trustees, inclusive of the Chairman.
  8.2  The Founding Members shall appoint the Chairman and first Trustees, thereafter the Chairman shall be elected by the Trustees.
  8.3 The Board of Trustees shall be the overall policy monitoring body of the Union with the right to review decisions and suspend or remove Executive officers and appoint acting Officers in their place pending the election of a successor.
  8.4 The Board of Trustees shall also oversee finances and investments and assist with fundraising for the Union.
  8.5 The first Trustees shall be in office for a period of four [4] years during which they will use their best efforts to consolidate the Union and build relationships with key Stakeholders in Business and His Majesty’s Government.
  8.6  At the end of four years two Trustees shall vacate their position in favour of new Trustees each year to be determined as follows
    8.6.1 The longest serving Trustees shall leave first
    8.6.2 In the event that there are more than two Trustees who have served the longest, by agreement
    8.6.3  In the absence of agreement, by the decision of the Founding Members
    8.6.4 In the absence of a decision by the Founding Members, by secret ballot of the Trustees
  8.7 The Chairman of the National Executive Council shall be an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.
  8.8 The Trustees shall appoint the Chief Financial Officer to the National Executive Committee who shall be a signatory to the Union Bank Accounts and Investments.
  8.9  A Trustee may be removed from office at any time by his fellow Trustees by a two thirds majority vote by secret ballot, or by a two thirds majority vote by Members present in person at a properly constituted General Meeting.
  8.10  The Trustees shall be entitled to appoint additional Trustees to fill vacancies in their number provided that a prospective Trustee shall require a two thirds majority vote in his favour.
         

Article 9:  General Meetings

  9.1 There shall be a General Meeting open to all Members that shall be called at least once a year by the National Executive Committee on not less than twenty one days notice.
  9.2 Extra-ordinary General Meetings may be called by the National Executive at any time and shall be called upon signature of a petition by a minimum of two thirds of the members on not less than seven days notice.
  9.3 General Meetings shall be the forum for deciding the policies of the Union, reviewing its affairs and activities and the conduct and performance of its Officers.
  9.4 Any member may propose a resolution or question any Officer.
  9.5 A General Meeting may authorize a Committee of its members to act on its behalf on all or any of the matters for a specific period;
  9.6 The officers and representatives of the Union shall be bound by decisions of a General Meeting.
  9.7 Notice of General meetings shall be in writing and shall specify the date, time and venue and may be given through Branch Committee Secretaries or by publication in a local newspaper.
       

 

Article 10 General Congress
  10.1 The National Executive Committee members and Branch Executive Committee Members shall meet annually at the General Congress.
  10.2 The General Congress shall be scheduled by the National Executive Committee who shall inform the Branches in writing at least 21 days in advance of the date, venue and time.
  10.3 The General Congress shall debate proposed policies and programs, and review the accounts and finances of the Union at National level.
  10.4 The General Congress shall elect the National Executive Committee Members (other than the Chief Financial Officer who shall be appointed by the Trustees) by secret ballot supervised by an independent person with no interest in the election process to be appointed by the Trustees.
  10.5 Representation from three quarters of the Branches shall constitute a quorum for the General Congress.
       

 

Article 11: Branch Congress

  11.1 The Branch Executive Committee and Branch Members shall meet annually at the Branch Congress.
  11.2 The Branch Congress shall be scheduled by the Branch Executive Committee who shall inform the Members in writing at least 21 days in advance of the date, venue and time.
  11.3 The Branch Congress shall debate proposed policies and programs, and review the accounts and finances of the Union at Branch level.
  11.4 The Branch Congress shall elect the Branch Executive Committee Members by secret ballot supervised by an independent person with no interest in the election process to be appointed by the Regional Secretaries.
  11.5  Representation from three quarters of the Branches shall constitute a quorum for the General Congress.
         

Article 12: Funds & Auditors

  12.1 The Treasurer shall ensure that the Union keeps full and accurate accounts for annual audit by a competent Auditor, who shall not be a member of the Union, and who shall be appointed by the General Council.
  12.2 Members and officers shall be available where necessary to assist in the preparation and audit of the annual statements of account.
  12.3 The Funds of the Union shall be kept at one or more Banks or in such investment in Swaziland or abroad as may be approved by the Board of Trustees.
  12.4 Annual budgets shall be prepared by the Chief Financial Officer in consultation with the Treasurer and submitted to the General Council for consideration and approval.
  12.5 All expenses of the General meeting, National Executive Committee, General Council, General Congress and Trustees shall be borne from the funds of the Union.
  12.6 No expenditure which is not included in the Annual Budgets of the Union shall be incurred without the approval of the Treasurer and the Chief Financial Officer.
  12.7 The signatories to the bank accounts of the Union will be the National Treasurer or the National Secretary for one signature and the Chief Financial Officer or a Trustee duly appointed as such by resolution of the Trustees for the other signature.
  12.8 All Office bearers will be entitled to remuneration for expenses or provision of per diem in anticipation of expenses on Union business as decided by the Trustees from time to time.
  12.9 Office bearers will be entitled to sitting allowances for meetings and Union attendances in such amounts as may be decided by the Trustees from time to time.
  12.10 The Financial year of the Organization shall be 12 months from the 1st July each year to the 30th June the next year.
         

Article 13: Accounts and Records

    The Register of Members, Annual Financial Statements and financial records of the Union and other records and documents may be inspected by any Member upon not less than 48 hours notice to the custodian.
         

Article 14: Communication

    Members shall be advised through their Branch Executive Committee, National Executive Committee, as may be appropriate, of the result of any negotiations entered into by the Union aimed at the conclusion, alteration, amendment or abandonment of any Collective Agreement or other such Agreements or other matters or issues to which the Union is or is to be a party.
         

Article 15: Levies and Benefits

  15.1 The Members in General meeting may impose a levy as agreed, upon all Members of the Union and all the Members shall be obliged to pay.  Such shall be paid in conjunction with the collection of Union subscriptions in the usual manner and receipts shall be issued for same.
  15.2 Levies shall be used to provide benefits to Members.
  15.3 If a Member fails to pay all levies within four weeks of the imposition the amount shall be treated as subscription arrears.
         

Article 16: Strikes

    The Union acknowledges and respects each and every employee’s right to pursue more favorable working conditions through striking and picketing but will endeavor to engage all necessary and possible means to achieve these ideals without the need to engage in industrial action. To this end industrial action shall serve as the final resort to be engaged in only where there is no evident alternative.
         

Article 17: Benefits

  17.1 The Union shall be dedicated to the welfare of its members.  To this end a portion of the subscription fees shall be utilized for the establishment and maintenance of welfare programs such as loan, funeral and education schemes for the benefit of individual members and their dependents.
  17.2 The Board of Trustees shall in consultation with the National Executive Committee determine the most suitable managers and administrators of the schemes anticipated in 17.1 above, determine the portion of the individual member’s subscription that will form part of such member’s contribution to such scheme from time to time in the same manner as the amount of the enrolment and subscription fees will be determined.
  17.3 The above benefits will only be afforded to eligible employees in particular employees who are fully paid up members and are members in good standing i.e. not serving a disciplinary sanction such as a suspension or suspended sentence.
         

Article 18: Legal Status

    The Union shall be a legal corporate body which can sue or be sued its name and further the Union may have full time employees who are not members and whose terms and conditions of employment are governed according to the laws of Swaziland.
 

Article 19: Amendment of Constitution

    This Constitution may be amended by a two thirds majority of the Trustees and a two thirds majority of the National Executive Committee.  Amendment will only become effective when ratified by the general congress.
         

Article 20: Dissolution  

  20.1 The Union can only be dissolved by resolution of the Trustees.
  20.2 Any money or assets left over after the payment of the debts will be distributed to charity or needy causes as may be decided by the Trustees.
         

 



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