The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has commenced its annual wage negotiations in the clothing, textiles and leather sectors.
First round negotiations commenced in mid-April this year, for 9 out of 13 national centralised sector wage bargains in which the union participates. For 4 sectors, negotiations will kick off between next week and mid-May, depending on when wage increases are due.
Following its National Collective Bargaining Conference held in early March this year, SACTWU had submitted a range of substantive demands to employers in our industry, including wage increases, improvements in retirement funding, better trade union organizational rights, employer contributions towards the union’s HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment campaign, additional holiday pay, and other related proposals.
Employer responses to date, for those sectors in which negotiations have already commenced, ranged between a wage freeze and a 5.5% wage increase.
In the clothing sector, the union has declared a national wage dispute after employers failed to table a response to the union’s wage demands. The union has referred the dispute to the clothing industry bargaining council. It now awaits a date for the conciliation processes to commence, as is required by the industry’s dispute resolution procedures.