Swaziland - Labor



Agriculture employs about 26% of the wage labor force although the percentage of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture is much higher. The public sector employs approximately 30% of the workforce. Unemployment in 2000 officially stood at 34%.

The law allows unions to organize and bargain collectively. About 80% of the formal private sector was organized as of 2001. The Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions is the major labor organization. There is also an employers' federation, as well as a second, breakaway labor group, the Swaziland Federation of Labor Officially. The right to strike is severely limited but unions have still engaged in strikes.

The minimum age of employment is 15, and children are rarely employed in the formal economy. Child labor is more common in the agricultural and informal economies. Swaziland has a legally mandated sliding scale of minimum wages depending on the type of work. The minimum monthly wage for a domestic servant was approximately $21 in 2001. For an unskilled worker it was $33 and for a skilled worker, $52. The government protects workers with health and safety regulations. The maximum workweek is set at 48 hours, with one day of rest.

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