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Clothing Bosses Offer their workers a R2 wage increase PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 June 2005 13:11

 

PRESS RELEASE: IMMEDIATE

 

The Southern African Clothing & Textile Worker's Union (SACTWU) has today declared a formal wage dispute against three non-metro area based clothing employer associations, after these associations refused to increase their offer of a 1% wage increase to their workers. The employers' offer translates into a R2.22 wage increase on the starting minimum wage of a machinist, and R2.82 per week on the qualified rate.

Clothing industry wage rates and benefits in the non-metro areas are the lowest in the whole South African manufacturing industry. The starting rate for a machinist is R222 per week, and the qualified rate is R282.00 per week. Other than a 1% annual bonus, the majority of clothing workers in the non-metro areas enjoy no other benefits such as retirement- or healthcare. There is even no maternity leave payments prescribed, and this in an industry employing predominantly women workers.

The non-metro area clothing wage agreement cover workers who live in some of the poorest communities in the country, such as in Ladysmith, Botshabelo, Qwa Qwa and Newcastle.

The 3 affected employer associations are:
The Northern Decentralised Clothing Manufacturers Association;
The Northern Kwazulu-Natal Clothing Manufacturers Association;
and The Lower South Coast Clothing Manufacturers Association.

This years clothing wage negotiations started in early April this year, and since then 3 scheduled rounds of negotiations were held. The last round took place on 31 May & 1 June 2005.

On the first day of this last negotiating round, Mr John Lingerfelder, the representative of these three employer associations, refused to improve the disgustingly low wage offer of the associations which he represents, packed his bags and unceremoniously left the negotiations.

This morning, the trade union had a difficult time to calm over 1000 clothing workers in Newcastle, who embarked on a 3-hour work stoppage yesterday, in spontaneous protest against their employers unacceptable wage offer and the unprofessional conduct of their representative.

 

Issued by Wayne van der Rheede
SACTWU National Organising Secretary