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Clothing sector suspends strike action

Sep 14 2012 15:53
I-Net Bridge
Cape Town – The Southern Africa Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) said it may be able to divert a strike as most employers have agreed to its pay demands.

A statement issued by the union on Friday said it has received a solid mandate to strike after a ballot was taken by more than 43 000 of its members across the country during the past two weeks.

It said however‚ it appeared that national strike action may now be averted. “We were advised by yesterday evening that all the clothing employer associations‚ except the Natal Clothing Manufacturers Association (NCMA) have now agreed to the trade union’s final wage demands‚” Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel said.

The Cape Clothing Association‚ Eastern Province Clothing Manufacturers’ Association‚ the Free State & Northern Cape Clothing Manufacturers Association‚ the Northern Decentralised Clothing Manufacturers’ Association‚ the Transvaal Clothing Manufacturers’ Association‚ and the Coastal Clothing Manufacturers’ Association have all confirmed that they will settle on the union’s final demands.

“We welcome their decision as wise. Our demands have always been reasonable and affordable. We regard the NCMA rejection as bizarre‚ as all its individual member companies have already agreed to implement the wage increases‚” Kriel said.

According to the wage settlement metro area workers will get a 6.5% wage increase and non-metro area workers will receive increases ranging between 7.2% and 8.5%‚ backdated to September 1 when the increases were actually due.

Kriel said that on Thursday a shop stewards council was convened and the decision was taken to suspend the strike action until the final settlement was signed.

“We hope to finalise a written agreement during the course of next week‚” he said.

Johan Baard‚ executive director of the Apparel Manufactures Association of SA was un-contactable for comment.

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