Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Newcastle's clothing factories close their own doors in protest
Newcastle's clothing factories close their own doors in protest
25
Aug '10
Following recent action taken against clothing manufacturers in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal by the National Bargaining Council, the companies decided to close their operations indefinitely in protest.

The National Bargaining Council contends that these companies are paying their employees excessively low wages. The police were present at two factory sites when Writs of Execution were served on the companies. The factories were shut down and the staff told to leave the premises. A further two factories are to be closed this week.

Alex Liu, Chairman of the Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a no-win situation, but we have been forced to take this drastic, risky decision in the hope that a favourable solution can be found.”

“The owners of these clothing companies are not foreigners,” said Liu. “We are nationalised South Africans; some of us are second-generation Chinese-South Africans. We have created nearly 8 000 jobs that sustain about 40 000 people in our surrounding communities. Many of our staff have been with us for a long time. Why would we purposely exploit our workers?”

According to Liu, the National Bargaining Council's claim that the companies are paying their staff as little as R90 a week is groundless, and should be quantified. In clothing operations, wage structures differ according to posts, with a machinist earning more than cutter, who in turn earns more than a packer. “The Bargaining Council has not provided any proof of this claim, whereas we have evidence that we are paying our staff fair wages,” said Liu.

The Chamber's attempts to hold talks with the Bargaining Council have proved fruitless. “We understand that the Bargaining Council is following its mandate,” says Liu, “and we do not want to fight with them. We want to find an equable solution, but to do this we must agree on the definition of a decent wage. Our clients are monitoring the situation in Newcastle very closely, and if our companies are shut down they will simply import.”

Officials from Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique are courting Newcastle-based clothing companies to relocate their operations. Factory owners said that this is a feasible option, as labour is far cheaper in those countries than in South Africa. “Our hope is that by halting operations now, we can bring the Bargaining Council to the table with us, and we are doing this to demonstrate our loyalty to South Africa and to the wellbeing of our community,” says Liu.

Commenting on the risks and implications of the factory shut-downs, Ferdie Alberts, Director of Economic Development at the Newcastle Municipality, said: “It's one thing to close factories, but it will be extremely difficult to replace them or regenerate these businesses. Newcastle has a 60% unemployment rate and we cannot afford thousands more people to lose their jobs.”

According to a World Bank report released earlier this month, South Africa'slabour wages in relation to productivity are the second highest of all emerging economies.

The ReDress Consultancy


Must ReadView All

Chinese firm sets up textile-garment chain in Vietnam

Apparel/Garments | On 13th Dec 2017

Chinese firm sets up textile-garment chain in Vietnam

Worldon Vietnam Co. Ltd under the Chinese Shenzhou Group is likely to ...

Courtesy: SATO Global Solutions

Information Technology | On 13th Dec 2017

Sensor networks improve inventory management

Sensor networks like radio frequency identification (RFID) and smart...

CMAI hails review of FTP as 'progressive package'

Apparel/Garments | On 13th Dec 2017

CMAI hails review of FTP as 'progressive package'

The Clothing Manufacturers' Association of India (CMAI) has hailed...

Interviews View All

Angelina Francesca Cheang
MY ANJE

'Consumers in the age-group 21 to 38 are driving the activewear trend'

Amardeep Singh
Orient Craft

'In export markets, the trend in terms of embroidery, is towards matte...

Dinaz Madhukar
DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade

‘Each event and promotion is planned out keeping in mind the business of...

Erik Sy

Manila-based CustomThread is a start-up offering premium custom apparel...

Harsh Shah

Established in 1956 with a small beginning, Embee today manufactures a...

Harmeet Singh

New Delhi-based Jogindra Industries Private Limited provides an assortment ...

Urs Stalder
Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder, CEO, Sanitized AG, talks about the increasing use of hygiene...

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Lynda Kelly
Suominen Corporation

Suominen Corporation is a manufacturer of nonwovens as roll goods for...

Divvya and Nidhhi Gambhir
Walnut

<b>Divvya and Nidhhi Gambhir</b> started their career with the launch of...

Nisha Chanda
Whistling Woods International School of Fashion

<div>A lack of upgraded courses in costume designing and fashion as per...

Igor Chapurin
Chapurin

"Now we can see the Russian trend in international fashion. And Russian...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

December 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
69.6%
No
12.0%
Skip
18.5%

Total Votes: 92

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
62.0%
No
30.4%
Skip
7.6%

Total Votes: 92

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
87.0%
No
9.8%
Skip
3.3%

Total Votes: 92

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
81.5%
No
8.7%
Skip
9.8%

Total Votes: 92


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search