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We remember:

1st May: International Labour Day

1st May 1886: 350 000 American workers strike for an 8 hour day and a 40 hour week.

2 May 1986: Start of 21 day Rex Trueform strike.

2-3 May 1991:Sactwu holds an Economics Conference and invites employers and international trade union speakers to attend.

4 May 1992: The 1992 national clothing wage campaign starts with meetings in Natal with employers.

8 May 1952: The government bans Solly Sachs, secretary of the Transvaal Garment Union.

11 May 1935: Blanket workers strike in Transvaal: 250 white women strikers picket the factory every morning from 3am.

18 May 1989: Start of the 7 week long Hextex strike (one of the longest strikes ever in our industry) over a service bonus to workers.

18 May 1991: Over 1000 workers and their families take part in a “Big Walk” in support of the union’s Workers Charter demands.

19 May 1997: National launch of the Sactwu Education Trust’s Scholarship Fund in Johannesburg. It opens access to tertiary education for students from historically disadvantaged communities. The new scholarship program is the first of its kind to be promoted and financially supported by trade unions.

22 May 1980: 6000 Frame workers strike over wages and recognition of their union (NUTW).

May 1990: 3 day strike of Eastern Cape Clothing workers

10 May 2000: More than 4 million workers throughout the country stay away from work. The action was the third leg in Cosatu's campaign to protest against job losses and fight for new policies to create jobs.

14 May 2002: Ebrahim Patel, Sactwu's General Secretary signs the Founding Agreement, Technical Agreement and Constitution of the first-ever National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Industry. The scope of this important Bargaining Council will cover clothing workers throughout the country.

23 May 2002: Historic registration of the National Clothing Bargaining Council. The National Clothing Bargaining Council provides the industry with a vehicle through which to address the new social and commercial challenges of the industry and regulates the wages of over 120 000 clothing workers.

1 May 2003: 51Workers die tragically when bus plunges into a dam en-route to the Phuthadijaba May Day Rally.

Sactwu donates R50 000 towards the families of the deceased.

13 May 2003: The newly registered National Clothing Bargaining Council holds its first-ever AGM in Cape Town.

13 May 2003: A Sactwu delegation led by the General Secretary Ebrahim Patel, meets with the Director General of the Department of Labour, Rams Ramashia on the process of gazetting Bargaining Council Agreements.

15 May 2003: Auntie Mary Williams, Cosatu’s longest serving shop steward passes away. Auntie Mary was first elected as a Sactwu shop steward in 1964. Her last job was at Baywear Clothing in Port Elizabeth.




We remember:

2 June 1997: Thousands of workers nationally took to the streets in a legally protected protest action in support of demands to change the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

3 June 1997: 110 Botshabelo workers embark on a 10 week long strike for better working conditions and wages.

16 June 1976: Start of the Soweto uprising against bantu education and apartheid.

14-16 June 1991:Third Sactwu National Congress is held in Cape Town.

18 June 1992: More than 50 000 clothing workers in Natal and the Cape march during working hours in support of their wage demands.

18-19 June 1993: Sactwu hosts a conference looking at Worker rights in a future democratic South Africa. Prominent politicians, lawyers and trade unionists attend this historic meeting.

22 June 1980: Rex Trueform workers go on strike for higher wages.

27 June 1983: Natal Thread strike – first ever legal strike in South Africa since the Wiehahn reforms, by 300 NUTW workers.

June 2000: Sactwu run historic regional winter schools for matriculants. The winter school was for the children and family of our members. The winter school forms part of our Social and Welfare Programme.

23 June 2003: Sactwu’s annual National Winter School Programme for matriculants starts. The Winter Schools are only for the children of Sactwu members. Approximately 680 learners from all over the country participate in the Winter School Programme.

25 June 2003 : Sactwu and textile employers sign constitution for first-ever National Textile Bargaining Council.




We remember:

6 July 1989: 260 Textiles workers at Finitex strike against the company’s use of breathalyser tests, and the involvement of the police in petty theft cases.

11 July 1990: 10 000 Frame cottonworkers start a three week long legal strike over wages, which ends in a victory for the union.

16-18 July 1993: Sactwu’s 4th National Congress – Durban. A new feature of the Congress is and “awards evening” where recognition is given for outstanding service in the interests of workers.

18 July 1980: 26 000 Cape Workers form a massive “human chain” to show their support for the workers charter demands.

24 July 1996: Start of the historic seven day strike by more than 80 000 Sactwu clothing workers nationally, signalling a new millitancy by their refusal to accept poverty increases.

29 July 1974: East London Frame workers strike.

July 1931: 2 300 white clothing workers in Johannesburg and Germiston strike for higher wages.

July 1974: Smith and Nephew Textile company signs a recognition agreement with NUTW – the first such agreement ever in South Africa between a trade union and employer.

July 1981: The industrial court reinstates dismissed workers at Stag Packing Textile company – the first ever reinstated decision of the court.

July 1999: Thousands of Sactwu members demonstrate throughout the country to focus public attention on the continued job losses in the fashion industry.

3-14 July 2000:Sactwu modernises the world of work for union shop stewards, through computer training. It is the first time in the history of the South African labour movement that a trade union has a training programme of this nature. More than 250 shop stewards nationally received this training. It is an ongoing process.

8 July 2000: Sactwu General Secretary, Ebrahim Patel, and Pentech vice-chancellor, Professor Brian Figaji, sign historic co-operation agreement, in the Western Cape. It states that the union and the technicon will work together to develop students and shop stewards in technology and media projects with specific emphasis on our jobs campaign.

21 July 2000: Start of a 12 day long strike by more than 1 000 Seton leather workers. The strike related to workers working rotational shifts and a demand to be paid for 42 hours per week. The strike ended in a historic victory.

1-31 July 2002: Sactwu's second leg of its annual national recruitment campaign commence.

July 2002: Sactwu's president Amon Ntuli steps down after 12 years’ service as the union's president. Amon was also the longest serving president of a Cosatu affiliate. He continues to serve the union on various other structures.

24 July 2002: Launch of the newly established National Clothing Bargaining Council in the Western Cape.

2-22 July 2003: Sesli strike for higher wages and trade union rights.




We remember:

1 August 1991: Start of first course at Sactwu-initiated Workers College with 18 students.

3-4 August 1992: 160 000 Sactwu members support general strike in support of peace and democracy. In all 3 million workers supported this action – the biggest strike action in South Africa.

3 August 1974: Zwelitsha – 3500 workers at Good Hope Textiles (Da Gama) go on strike over wages.

4 August 1982: Veldspun Textile company – 1000 workers strike against retrenchments.

7-9 August 1997: 5th Sactwu National Congress was held in Kwazulu Natal.

11 August 1954: Durban – 1500 workers strike at Consolidated Fine Spinning & Weaving (Frame)

18-21 August 1997: Thousands of Sactwu members nationally support Cosatu’s rolling strike action campaign for fair employment standards.

19 August 1987: Hundreds of workers at SBH Cotton Mills strike over a company rule which require them to ask permission before going to the toilet. The rule was subsequently changed.

28 August 1990: Natal Human Chain Day: 23 800 workers link hands in support of the Workers Charter campaign. With the Cape (July) and Transvaal (October) human chains, over 60 000 Sactwu members took part in the chains.

28 August 1991: Textile employers meet with Sactwu on the union’s demand for a national council

August 1992: Selective strikes in the Clothing industry in Natal.

9 August 1999: Sactwu launches its HIV/AIDS awareness campaign at the William Clarke Children's Home in Durban. The centre is home for about 200 orphans whose parents died of AIDS

August 1999: Thousands of Sactwu members nationally vote in secret ballot in favour of the closed shop and the union. The ballot was supervised by the IEC.

10 August 2000: Sactwu launches its HIV/AIDS shop steward education programme in Durban. 122 shop stewards attended the launch.

29 August 2000: Historic Clothing and Textile Sector Summit takes place in Durban. Senior members of business, labour and government attended the summit. The summit was called to discuss new policies and growth strategies for the industry.

29-30 August 2001: Cosatu anti-privatisation general strike takes place.

2 August 2002: Special School's Launch – Durban

12 August 2002: Sactwu officially launches its National HIV/AIDS Project in Durban.

26 August 2002: Sactwu opens its Voluntary, Testing and Counselling Centre's in all regions. The Voluntary, Testing and Counselling Centre's forms part of our National HIV/AIDS Project.

6 August 2003: Sactwu files Section 77 LRA notice with the National Economic Development & Labour Council (NEDLAC). The notice says that Sactwu intends to hold protest action against the retail sector, their banks and other financial suppliers, to force increased local sourcing.