PRESS RELEASE: IMMEDIATE
SUPPORT BY CLOTHING, TEXTILE AND FOOTWEAR WORKERS IN THE WESTERN CAPE FOR COSATU PROTEST ACTION: REPORT BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN CLOTHING AND TEXTILE WORKERS' UNION (SACTWU)
In the Western Cape , thousands of workers participated in the first day of protest action against South Africa 's continuing electricity crisis. Protest action mainly took the form of extended lunch breaks, with workplace-based demonstrations. This type of protected action was union-sanctioned and a goodwil gesture to help minimise production loss in a struggling industry.
In figures available at 3pm today, SACTWU estimates that approximately 89% of workers in the Western Cape clothing, textile and footwear industry had heeded the union's call to support the protest action in this manner.
This information is based on a survey conducted by SACTWU, with information being supplied by company employer representatives and/or shop stewards at 52 companies employing 12 000 workers in the industry in the province. There are approximately 40 000 workers employed in the Western Cape fshion industry. With an estimated participation rate of about 89% (based on the sample survey conducted) it can be safely concluded that approximately 35 500 clothing, textile and leather industry workers have participated in the protest action today.
The report will be updated as more data about the extent of participation in the action becomes available.
SACTWU regards this action as a warm up dress rehearsal for more serious protest action. The union will now issue instructions to its members to prepare for full-blown strike action in support of Cosatu's electricity crises demands on 6 August 2008. We intend to meet with clothing, textile and leather industry employers soon, to explore ways in which the success of the action on 6 August could be maximised while simultaneously protecting a very vulnerable industry.
Deputy General Secretary
Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU)
If more information is required, please contact Etienne Vlok on (021) 4474570.