Home Press Releases Archived 2014 SACTWU update on clothing wage dispute
SACTWU update on clothing wage dispute PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 August 2014 13:56

DATE: 15 AUGUST 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: IMMEDIATE

We refer to our previous media statements relating the wage dispute in the clothing industry (for ease of reference it is reproduced below):

 

In our last statement, we undertook to provide a further update by late afternoon today. We are able to do so earlier, as follows:

 

We can confirm that the 5 employer associations with which SACTWU negotiates at clothing industry bargaining council level,  have all finalised their new mandate seeking processes. This process was completed by Wednesday evening.

 

These employer associations have all confirmed that they have received firm mandates from their constituencies to settle the wage dispute. This is in terms of the recommended settlement package which had been developed by the parties during the special negotiating meeting held on 5 August 2014.  We were so advised by early evening on Wednesday this week.

 

This is a major step forward towards settlement and to prevent a national wage strike of 80 000 clothing workers.

 

The union has accordingly commenced its report back sessions to our members yesterday. We are recommending a settlement of the dispute. Our settlement mandate-taking processes continue today and this weekend. However it is unlikely to be finalised before Tuesday next week. However, we can report that initial indications are that our members are prepared to accept the recommended settlement. We have accordingly resolved not to proceed with a strike ballot in the clothing industry.

 

The union’s final demand was for a 9% package increase for metro area workers and double digit increases for non-metro area workers.

 

The recommended settlement is an 8% package increase for metro area workers and an 11% for non-metro area workers, with effect from 1 September this year.  The due date for wage increases in  the clothing industry is 1st September 2014.

 

We have sought a higher settlement for non-metro area workers, so as to significantly narrow the wage gap between them and metro area workers.

 

To help with a longer period of wage certainty and stability in the industry, the parties have in principle also agreed to a two year wage agreement. The technical modalities of what increases would be applicable in year two is being finalised between the parties.

 

The parties have tentatively set aside 21 August 2014 as a date on which the agreement would be signed, should the union secure a final settlement mandate from its members.

 

A further update announcement will be made on Wednesday next week.

 

Issued by

 

Andre Kriel

SACTWU

General Secretary

 

If further information or comment is required, kindly contact SACTWU Deputy General Secretary Chris Gina on cell number 082 940 9456

 

 

 

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Subject: [SACTWU Statement] Wage dispute meeting with clothing employers offer a ray of hope for a settlement

 

DATE:                                    5 AUGUST 2014

MEDIA RELEASE:               IMMEDIATE

 

WAGE DISPUTE MEETING WITH CLOTHING EMPLOYERS OFFER A RAY OF HOPE FOR A SETTLEMENT

 

We refer to our media statement issued yesterday which, for ease of reference, is reproduced below, and provide the following update:

 

SACTWU has today met with the clothing employer associations. The meeting was held at the head office of the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry, in Cape Town. The union’s full national negotiating team was present.

 

The meeting was extremely tense but ended constructively. It started early in the morning and ended late afternoon.

 

The employers had earlier in the day tabled a further improved wage offer. Regrettably, it did not constitute sufficient movement for the union to recommend settlement to our members.

 

The parties then explored further, and ended with a package construct which we would be prepared to recommend as settlement to our members, provided the employers give a firm undertaking to settle along those terms. Regrettably, we are not at this stage able to reveal the exact figures involved, due to the sensitivity and out of respect for the parties’ internal consultative processes and procedures.

 

Employers will now seek a clear  and final mandate from their constituency regarding this matter. We have granted them a one week period to resolve their internal final mandating processes. A strike for us a very last resort.

 

In the interim, we will continue with our practical preparations for a national strike ballot, in case the employer negotiators fail to secure the recommended settlement mandate. There will be no further wage negotiating meetings with clothing employers, after today’s meeting.

 

We have set our final report back meetings with our members for Thursday and Friday next week.

 

We will make a further announcement late afternoon next Friday.

 

Issued by

Andre Kriel

SACTWU

General Secretary

 

If further information or comment is required, kindly contact SACTWU Deputy General Secretary Chris Gina on cell number 082 940 9456

 

 

 

 

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DATE:                                    4 AUGUST 2014

MEDIA RELEASE:                IMMEDIATE

 

SACTWU ISSUES ULTIMATUM TO CLOTHING EMPLOYERS

 

Settle or face national wage strike action by 80 000 clothing workers.

 

This is the ultimatum which the COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has today  issued to clothing employers.

 

The union had submitted its 2014 wage demands very early this year, on 20th  March. The first round of wage negotiations was held on 15-16 April. Since then, there has been three  further normal rounds of negotiations of two days each, plus three separate conciliation meetings and numerous bi-lateral discussions.

 

We cannot negotiate forever. Wage increases are due on 1st September this year, in less than 3 weeks from now.

 

The employers’ current final offer is a total labour cost increase of 7% and the union demands a 9% increase. We regard our final demand as reasonable and as affordable.

 

SACTWU has now called for a final meeting with clothing employers, which will be held in Cape Town tomorrow, in a last-gasp attempt to secure a resolution of this wage dispute.

 

Should discussions fail tomorrow, SACTWU intends to conduct a national strike ballot in the industry.  A strike for us still remains a last resort. However, should the union be forced to trigger its strike balloting processes, there will regrettably be no turning back.

 

We are of the view that we have granted employers enough time and a fair opportunity to find a constructive settlement with us. It appears increasingly that industrial action might have to be invoked, in order to break the deadlock.

 

Even at this late stage though, we sincerely hope that a settlement is possible.

 

Issued by

 

Andre Kriel

SACTWU

General Secretary

 

If further information or comment is required, kindly contact SACTWU Deputy General Secretary Chris Gina on 031 3011351 or cell number 082 940 9456