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Sactwu Responds on Closure of Newcastle Clothing Companies PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 August 2010 14:17

PRESS STATEMENT:

SACTWU RESPONSE ON CLOSURE OF NEWCASTLE CLOTHING COMPANIES

 

The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has taken note of the decision by the Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce to close its member factories in Newcastle, KZN, in response to the compliance drive by the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry.
 

We point out that this action amounts to an illegal lockout and have instructed our legal representatives to launch an urgent Labour Court legal application to rectify this unacceptable situation.


We have also noted the call by the Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce for KZN Provincial Government intervention in the matter. In this regard,

the SACTWU General Secretary has today written to the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Mr. Michael Mabuyakhulu, and pointed out the following SACTWU position:

 

“We have noted in today’s Business Report that the Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce has resolved to close all its clothing companies, in response to the compliance drive by the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry in South Africa.
 

We further note the Chamber’s call for provincial government intervention in the matter.

 

We write to advise that SACTWU is very concerned about this state of affairs and its impact on the creation and protection of jobs in the KZN Province, and nationally. Accordingly, we would not be opposed to a tri-partite engagement on the matter.

 

At the outset, we wish to state that we will do anything within in our power to save and create jobs in the clothing, textile, leather and footwear sector.

 

We point out though that an engagement on the matter should take into account the policy positions agreed at last year’s KZN Province’s Economic Recovery and Jobs Summit, held on 6-7 August 2009.

 

In this regard, we recall that the following were some of the agreed Summit outcomes, for our industry:


-that the clothing, textile, leather and footwear (CTFL) industry is a vulnerable sector needing special support measures and, given its labour intensive nature, that steps must be taken to secure its future sustainability and growth;

-full respect for and observance of fair labour standards and national legislation is non-negotiable;

-the creation of a conducive environment to ensure compliance with bargaining council agreements for the industry, with health and safety standards and with the principle of decent work for all, especially for women who form the bulk of the sectoral labour force;

-the understanding of the key links in the value chain and the promotion of close interaction between them should be an important priority, but subject to the promotion of the principle of decent work and the promotion of a culture of labour law and tax compliance.

-The general conclusion was that the KZN Provincial Government would be supportative of a campaign for Decent work in the Province.

 

We advise that we remain open to find, together with the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry and your Ministry, a constructive solution to this very concerning situation.

 

We await suggestions from you on how to proceed with this matter.”

 

We now await a response from the MEC.

 

Issued by Andre Kriel

General Secretary

 

If further comment is required, kindly contact SACTWU’s Wayne van der Rheede on 082 8007143 or Chris Gina on 082 9409456