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Wage deal fails to boost South African garment sector jobs
Apr '12
The clothing sector in South Africa has fallen short of meeting its target of 3 percent employment growth at the beginning of March, 2012, under a new wage deal signed late last year.

The wage deal signed between apparel sector employers and the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) envisaged offering of 30 percent lower wages to new employees on the condition that the garment sector adds at least 3 percent more employees by March, 2012.

The deal was considered path-breaking and was expected to generate 5000 new jobs during the next three years following the agreement.

However, the results are not on the expected lines, said Johann Baard, Director of Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa.

Mr. Baard said some employers have experienced a high labour turnover and cited teething problems as the main reason for employers failing to reach the three percent employment growth rate.

New workers employed by garment manufacturing units at 30 percent lower wages, especially those who were performing well, expressed dissatisfaction and subsequently left the job, causing a lot of problems for the employers, Mr. Baard explained.

He added that similar problems were not reported at units that were newly set up, as all the workers employed there were earning the same entry level wage.

In spite of initial failure to meet the three percent growth rate in employment, Mr. Baard was hopeful that the apparel sector in the country would be able to boost employment in the medium term.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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