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We remember:

4 September 1991: National Sactwu Human Chain

4 September 1932: General Clothing strike in Transvaal.

5 September 1990: 1000 Da Gama workers march through East London, to force their company to recognise SACTWU.

10-12 September 1993: Connie September, Sactwu treasurer, is elected as the first woman vice-president of Cosatu.

16-17 September 1989: SACTWU is born through the merger of ACTWUSA and GAWU.

18 September 1976: Da Gama Textiles recognises SACTWU after a four-year battle.

19 September 1992: 300 Sactwu members occupy Woolworths, a clothing shop in Cape Town, in solidarity with workers dismissed by Woolworths supplier factories for taking part in a union march.

29 September 1976: 3000 workers at Da Gama’s King Williamstown plant go on strike.

September 1973: The National Union of Textile Workers is born at a meeting in Pinetown.

September 1975: Workers at the Carpet Manufacturing Co. in Jacobs go on strike over the dismissal of a shop steward.

8 September 1999: Over 100 000 Sactwu members nationally participate in protest action in defense of jobs. In Cape Town, more than 30 000 workers march in the biggest ever union march on parliament.

16-18 September 1999: SACTWU's 7th National Congress in Cape Town – celebrating its 10th anniversary. The theme of the congress was "Ten years in defense of worker rights and advancement."

18-21 September 2000: Cosatu 7th National Congress rejected new proposed labour amendments, adopted a resolution to embark on rolling mass action in support of the resolution. A highlight of the Congress was the first ever Cosatu awards evening. Sactwu president, Amon Ntuli and Auntie Mary Williams, won the awards for longest serving president and shop steward within the federation.

September 2000: Sactwu's historic bilateral relationship with the NUTGTW of Nigeria is strengthened by a 3 month organiser exchange programme between the 2 unions.

7 September 2002: Negotiations for the establishment of a National Bargaining Council for the Textile Industry commence.

16-18 September 2002: Sactwu celebrates its 13th Anniversary.

16-18 September 2003: Cosatu holds its 8th National Congress in Midrand. The theme of the congress is “Consolidating working class power for quality jobs towards 2015”. Monica Ishmael, a Sactwu shop steward, receives an award for the longest serving Cosatu shop steward.




We remember:

1 October 1990: Da Vinci Clothing workers in Natal go on strike, sparking off an industry-wide strike of 15 000 workers, over wage increases.

15 October 1990: 8 000 workers and an aeroplane is part of the Transvaal human chain in support of the workers charter demands.

15 October 1991: The first resource centre in Sactwu is officially launched in Cape Town, providing books and videos for loan to shop stewards.

25-27 October 1989: 1400 Leather workers at Futura (Bata Shoes) shoe company in Pinetown went on strike. They demanded recognition of their trade union, SACTWU.

27 October 1975: Natal Cotton and Woollen Mills (Frame) workers strike for 2 weeks, and 200 policemen arrive to break the strike.

26-29 October 1992: Meeting of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF) in Portugal.

24 October 2000: 35 workers from Castellano Beltrame in East London are dismissed for an illegal strike in protest against unfair production targets.

1 October 2001: Launch of a month-long recruitment campaign that signs up 5000 new members for Sactwu.

16-17 October 2001: Parliamentary hearings on amendments to the LRA and BCEA.

July/October2002: Team Puma, a textile factory in the Western Cape legally strike over wages and the unilateral introduction of a new shift system. The strike lasted 16 weeks and is the longest and bitterest strike in the history of Sactwu.

1-31 October 2002: Sactwu's 3rd and final leg of its annual national recruitment offensive.

1 October 2002: Sactwu commences its first-ever-national closed shop ballot in the textile industry.

31 October 2002: Sactwu hosts first-ever Fashion Festival in Cape Town. The Fashion Festival is an initiative of the union and supported by Proudly South Africa and the Western Cape Provincial Government.





We remember:

4-5 November 1991: General Strike by 3 million workers against Vat and for a National Economic Forum.

7-8 November 1987: ACTWUSA formed through a merger of the National Union of Textile Workers (NUTW), Textile Workers Industrial Union (TWIU) and National Union of Garment Workers (NUGW), ending the long history of separate organisation by textile and garment workers.

8-13 November 1993:Sactwu hosts first ever historic meeting of the ITGLWF in Cape Town.

17-18 November 1990: COSATU Workers Charter Conference endorses the demand for basic worker rights to organise, to strike and to independent trade unionism, to be included in South Africa’s new constitution.

21 November 1989: Start of the Cape Cotton “grasshopper strikes”

19-23 November 1993: After a 4-day strike, monthly staff at Frame – all members of Sactwu – win a 9,5% increase after the company initially proposed a wage freeze.

28 November 1991: Union delegates sit on an industry committee with manufacturers, cotton farmers and clothing retailers, to discuss the future of the clothing and textile industry.

November 1973: Smith and Nephew Textile workers strike

November 1976: John Copelyn, SACTWU’s General Secretary, is banned together with a number of other trade unionists.

16 November 2001: Parliament votes to approve changes to the LRA and BCEA, giving workers the right to strike on retrenchments.




We Remember:

1 December 1985:
Birth of COSATU.

1 December 1992: Sactwu meets with Fawu and Ppwawu at Cosatu Head Office to discuss the organising of farm workers.

4 December 1989: 550 Cotton textiles workers march to the industrial court to show support for a dismissed worker leader.

5-6 December 1987: GAWU formed through a merger of the Garment Workers’ Union (Western Cape) and the Garment Workers’ Industrial Union (Natal) beginning of new chapter of militant worker struggles in the garment sector of the Cape and Natal.

8 December 1992: The union meets employers to negotiate changes to the new tariff duties which government introduced.

15 December 1993: Tariff duties discussed with government, employers and the union for the clothing and textile industries are submitted to GATT and are accepted, bringing to a close a long process of negotiations

1 December 2001: COSATU celebrates its 16th anniversary.

10 December 2001: Operation ‘Clean-up’ is launched in Newcastle (KZN), to put an end to sweatshop conditions in factories in the area.

1-7 December 2003: Sactwu annual Fashion Festival is held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. A Fashion Expo is introduced for the first time.

7 December 2003 : Sactwu launches first ever Fashion Film Festival, at Labia Theatre, Cape Town.