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SACTWU to end clothing wage agreement
Jun '12
Clothing employers have advised the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) that they will end the 2011/2012 clothing industry party to party wage agreement.

In a letter headed “Termination of the 2011/2012 substantive agreement”, addressed to the union’s General Secretary, Andre Kriel, the Apparal Manufacturers’ Association (AMSA) states as follows:

“On behalf of AMSA affiliate Regional Associations you are hereby given notice that on expiry of the Substantive Agreement on 31 August 2012, the Substantive Agreement will come to an end”

The agreement contains a provision for a 30% lower entry wage rate for new workers. This means this provision will also come to an end.

We were puzzled why AMSA would do this, when they publicly constantly state that wages in the clothing industry are too high (of course we do not agree, as clothing workers are the lowest paid in the whole of the domestic manufacturing industry).

Nevertheless, the SACTWU General Secretary and our two National Organising Secretaries have formally met with the AMSA senior national leadership on 20 June 2012 where we clarified the consequences of their notice of termination of the agreement. They have confirmed in that meeting that they clearly understood that the lower “new entry wage rate” would come to an end, in consequence of their notice letter.

SACTWU has carefully considered the matter and have now formally advised AMSA that we accept that the agreement would come to an end as per the terms of their notice letter.

This means that all those new workers who have been employed on the 30% lower wage rate will have to receive an automatic 30% wage increase with effect from 1 September this year.

A copy of the 2011/2012 wage agreement is available on the SACTWU website.

The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU)

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