The United States Government, through a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of State, sponsored a three-day mediation training for the Commissioners of the Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration Commission (CMAC) of Swaziland. The two trainers from the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) brought with them over 40 years of alternative dispute resolution exoerience at the federal level in the United States.
The purpose of the training was capacity building for CMAC and strengthening ties between the United States’ and Swaziland’s mediation bodies. Effective mediation is an important part of building harmony in the workplace, protecting worker and employer rights, and promoting a productive economy. The United States is committed to helping develop the human capacity of the people of Swaziland wherever possible, including in training on essential mediation and collective bargaining skills, in order to enable workers and employers to address issues of basic fairness, respect for human rights, the promotion of gender equality in the workforce, and other important development goals.
CMAC was established under Swaziland’s Industrial Relations Act (IRA) of 2000. Its primary purpose is to prevent and resolve labor disputes in an accessible, speedy, fair, and equitable manner and to promote harmonious labor relations. CMAC has alleviated the backlog of the industrial court and provided a less expensive alternative for employers and employees to access justice and resolve labor disputes.
FMCS has a history of more than 65 years of providing mediation, training, and facilitation services in the United States. It is the mission of the FMCS to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation. Beyond the borders of the United States, the FMCS plays an important role in promoting collective bargaining and conflict resolution around the world. In 2014, FMCS mediators delivered more than 330 hours of mediation and industrial relations training programs in China, Korea, Nigeria, Morocco, Romania, Honduras, Thailand, Haiti, and Myanmar. Swaziland is now part of this group of fortunate countries to have received this training.
Yesterday’s closing ceremony for the training brought together invited guests representing labor and business to celebrate with the participants. The U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland Makila James presented certificates to each of the participants.