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SACTWU commences clothing industry wage strike ballot
06
Aug '13
The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has commenced a national wage strike ballot in the clothing industry, after conciliation failed to resolve the union’s wage dispute.

The main issue in dispute with clothing employers is their demand that the union agrees to the introduction of a new minimum wage, to be set at 80% of the prescribed minimum rate, without any conditions.

Further, some clothing employer associations now want to renege on an agreement reached last year to narrow the metro vs non-metro areas wage gap to 71% with effect from 1 September this year.

We cannot accept these conditions, as it would effectively amount to a 20% wage cut and, in addition, roll back what was already agreed last year.  We must negotiate for better employment conditions for our members, not worse.

The ballot started on 1st August in the Western Cape and from Monday this week in other provinces. Strike balloting is not a requirement of the Labour Relations Act (LRA). However, SACTWU always voluntarily ballots its members before embarking on any wage strike action. It is part of our internal policy of worker control on critical organisational matters.

The union has set itself a target to ballot 40 000 clothing workers over a 3 week period. As at close of business yesterday, we have strike-balloted 9 771 workers in 75 factories nationally.

Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union

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