PRESS RELEASE: IMMEDIATE
The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union has today reached a wage agreement with the Natal Clothing Manufacturers' Association (NCMA).
The parties have agreed to the following:
A 4% wage increase for all clothing and garment knitting employees in the KZN metro area;
The introduction of a wage schedule to cover garment knitting employees in the KZN metro area;
To make available bargaining council resources to support the Proudly South African campaign;
To make available resources to promote the label of origin legislation, over the next few months;
To delete a provision from the current KZN metro wage agreement which allows an employee's contract of employment to be terminated automatically where, as a result of short time, such employee has worked for less or is paid less than 5 full working days during any period of four consecutive weeks;
The introduction of a closed shop clause in the new agreement;
The union shall have the right to on-site ballot facilities to conduct any ballot in terms of the Labour Relations Act;
An enabling mechanism to encourage and permit plant level productivity agreements;
To encourage job creation through the introduction of 'twi-light' shift arrangements, which will allow shift-work in gthe industry between 16h30 and 23h00 daily, with employers carrying the cost and the responsibility for the practical arrangements nof such shift-workers' transport home at the conclusions of a shift;
To discourage unauthorised absenteeism through aggregation of over-time in instances of unauthorised absenteeism.
The new agreement will become effective from 1 July 2005. The minimum starting rate for a machinist will increase from R343.20 per week to R356.90. The rate for a qualified machinist will increase from R520.00 per week, to R540.80 per week.
SACTWU and the NCMA further agreed that the new agreement will be submitted to the Minister of Labour for gazettal and extension to all non-party companies in the KZN metro area.
This agreement is virtually the same as that concluded with four other clothing employers' associations, on 1 June 2005. It means that SACTWU has now reached wage agreements with all the major clothing employer associations.
The union is of the view that this year's agreed wage increase is very modest, and our members have agreed to it in order to provide the industry with relief during very trying times.
In the meantime:
The union is also very close to reaching agreement with the Eastern Province Clothing Manufacturers Association (EPCMA).
The union has declared a formal dispute with Consolidated Association of Employers of Southern African Region (CAESAR). This dispute was conciliated on 3 june 2005, but the conciliation failed. In this rergard, the union has received a formal 'Certificate of Outcome' from clothing bargaining council, and is accordingly now in a position to embark on legal strike action at all clothing companies represented by CAESAR. CAESAR has refused to make any wage offer for its employees.
SACTWU is also in dispute with the Northern Decentralised Clothing Manufacturers' Association, The Northern Kwazulu-Natal Clothing Manufacturers' Association, and the Lower South Coast Clothing Manufacturer's Association. The dispute with these 3 employer associations will be conciliated on 21 June 2005. These three employers' associations have made a formal wage increase offer of 1%. This translates to a R2.20 wage increase on the minimum wage, and a R2.82 wage increase on the rate for a qualified machinist. The current rate for a qualified machinist is only R282.76 per week.
Issued by ANDRE KRIEL
SACTWU DEPUTY GENERAL SECRETARY