Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / SACTWU celebrates its 20th anniversary

SACTWU celebrates its 20th anniversary

18
Sep '09
The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) celebrates its 20th anniversary. SACTWU was launched at its inaugural founding National Congress held from 16-17 September 1989 at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town. It was formed in a merger, on 16-17 September 1989, of the Amalagamated Clothing & Textile Workers' Union of South Africa (ACTWUSA) and the Garment Workers' Union (GAWU).

But the history of the union goes back much further than that. ACTWUSA and GAWU respectively were themselves the result of a series of mergers of long established trade union's in the clothing, textile and leather industries. The roots of the union goes back more than 90 years, with the formation of the Witwatersrand Tailors' Association (WTA). This was a craft union, because it organised members from the same industry with the same skill. The WTA later transformed itself into the Garment Workers' Union of South Africa (GWUSA) which became a registered trade union in 1928, under the leadership of Solly Sachs as General Secretary. Solly Sachs is the father of Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs. Most workers employed in the industry at the time were white Afrikaner women. Solly Sachs remained General Secretary of this union for 44 years, from 1928 until his banning in 1952.

GAWU was the result of a merger, in 1987, of the Natal-based Garment Workers' Industrial Union (GWIU) and the Cape-based Garment Workers' Union (GWU), both of which also ranked among the oldest trade union's in South Africa. For example, GWU was informally formed in the early 1920's and first registered in 1933. The GWIU was formed on 2 August 1934 under the leadership of James Bolton. To this day, SACTWU's Durban building is called the 'James Bolton Building'.

Another significant founding union of SACTWU was the Textile Workers Industrial Union (TWIU), formed as far back as 1936. TWIU was one of the first unions which organised workers irrespective of their race. In 1973, a wave of strikes in Durban gave rise to a new generation of textile workers from which a new union, the National Union of Textile Workers (NUTW) emerged. NUTW is another founding union of SACTWU, characterised by militant members and leaders with fresh and different approaches to the organising challenge. NUTW was a founding member of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) in 1979. FOSATU is a fore-runner federation of COSATU. One of NUTW's toughest battles was to organise the Frame Group, which at the time employed more than 20 000 workers: a feat which was achieved after 53 legal cases and many strikes over a number of years.

One of the first resolutions adopted at the SACTWU Inaugural National Congress in 1989 was a decision to affiliate to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The membership of SACTWU remains the racially most diversified of any COSATU affiliate or any trade union in the country (multi-racial, predominantly women, indian, coloured, african and white).

Over the years, SACTWU has remained a strong voice at the forefront of the fight for decent workers rights in general, a strong promotor of the ideals of the national democratic revolution and leading the struggle for decent work for all clothing, textile and leather workers specifically.

SACTWU turns 20 year's old today in the same way that it and its founding union's started: squarely in the struggle.

Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU)


Must ReadView All

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 20th Oct 2020

US, Brazil update agreement on trade, economic cooperation

The United States and Brazil yesterday signed a new protocol relating ...

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 20th Oct 2020

China building more competitive mulberry silk industry

China is striving to build a more competitive mulberry silk industry...

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 20th Oct 2020

CBN invests N120 bn to revive Nigeria's textile sector

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently said it had invested over...

Interviews View All

Md Hanifur Rahman, Aman Group

Md Hanifur Rahman
Aman Group

The level of understanding the job role and organisational requirements...

Rahul Bhadani, Looksgud

Rahul Bhadani
Looksgud

Navigating through catalogues is a bit hasslesome

Abhishek Samdaria, Reflete

Abhishek Samdaria
Reflete

GST will certainly reduce a lot of paperwork in future

Shyam Gupta & Ravi Gupta,

Shyam Gupta & Ravi Gupta

Based out of South Delhi, Gargee Designer's provides bespoke formal and...

Will Qian,

Will Qian

Honghua Digital Technology Stock Co., Ltd. specialises in the R&D,...

Kamal Kulshreshth,

Kamal Kulshreshth

Colorjet is among the fastest-growing wide format digital inkjet print...

Daniel Odermatt, Ventile

Daniel Odermatt
Ventile

Ventile is a registered trademark used to brand a special high-quality...

Mohammad Hassan, Biax Fiberfilm

Mohammad Hassan
Biax Fiberfilm

About one in every 20 patients picks up an infection while hospitalised....

Larry L Kinn, Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

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

Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rajesh Pratap Singh

Rajesh Pratap Singh
Rajesh Pratap Singh

<div>Ace fashion designer <b>Rajesh Pratap Singh</b> has used Tencel to...

Jay Ramrakhiani, Occasions Elegance Wear

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Priya Somaiya, Usha Social Services

Priya Somaiya
Usha Social Services

The Usha Silai label from Usha International is all set for a retail...

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

Leave your Comments


October 2020

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


Advanced Search