SACTWU settles 2018 clothing industry wage negotiations Print
Wednesday, 22 August 2018 00:00

Media Release: Immediate

We refer to our media release dated 15 July 2018 (for ease of reference re-copied below) and provide the following update:

The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has settled its 2018 wage negotiations for the clothing sector. This comes after three rounds of ordinary negotiations, the declaration of a dispute and two conciliation sessions to attempt a settlement of the dispute.

The first conciliation session yielded a recommended settlement, which our members did not agree to, mainly due to disagreement about time-off organisational rights for shop stewards who are office-bearers of the union. It was only at the second conciliation session, last Thursday,  where progress was made.

The dispute was finally settled earlier today, 24 August 2018, when a formal wage agreement was signed at the head office of the clothing industry bargaining council, in Cape Town.

The agreement covers just over 60 000 clothing workers, employed in 745 factories nation-wide. The wage increase component alone, combined for all the workers, will mean a total cash amount injection of R250m into the domestic economy, over the next year.

The final settlement involves a two-year agreement. The effective- and implementation date for the first year of the agreement is 1st September 2018, and for the second year it will be 1st September 2019. Wage increases for this industry are normally due at the beginning of September each year.

During the first year, our clothing industry members in the metro areas of South Africa will receive a 7.5% wage increase and workers in the non-metro areas will receive an 8% package increase (of which 7.5% will go on wages and 0.5% to improve employer contributions to the provident fund).

The second year wage increase will be the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as at November 2018,  plus an additional 1%. In the event of CPI plus 1% resulting in the total labour cost increase being less than the rand value increase for 2018, the adjustment shall be the rand value equivalent of the 2018 total labour cost increase. This simply means that next year, our members will not receive a lower wage increase than what they will receive this year. Should the CPI plus 1% for the second year exceed this, negotiations will be re-opened.

Agreement was also reached that time-off requests for Office-Bearers of the union to attend constitutional meetings of SACTWU and of COSATU shall not be unreasonably refused.

In addition, the scope of coverage of family responsibility leave will be broadened, and our members will receive an extra day’s paid annual leave.

The agreement was reached under the auspices of the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry of South Africa. Our employer counterparts were represented by the Apparel and Textile Association of South Africa, (ATASA), Eastern Province Clothing Manufacturers Association (EPCMA), South African Apparel Association (SAAA), South African Clothing Manufacturers Association (SACMA) and the Transvaal Clothing Manufacturers Association (TCMA).

It was also agreed to submit the agreement to the Minister of Labour, for it to be gazetted and extended to become nationally applicable. Once gazetted, the new wage rates will cover all workers, all companies and all employers in the domestic clothing industry nationally.

SACTWU is an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Issued by
Andre Kriel
General Secretary

If further comment is required kindly contact our Clothing Sector National Negotiator Bonita Loubser on 0828007142 or office number 021 447 4570.