Textile union Sactwu endorses clothing strike

Clothing employers had until Monday to agree to their demands, failing which more than 50 000 workers would down tools. (Gallo)

Clothing employers had until Monday to agree to their demands, failing which more than 50 000 workers would down tools. (Gallo)

"As expected, we have received a strong 'yes vote' in support of a national wage strike in the clothing industry," Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel said on Wedneday.

Kriel said around 37 846 of the 40 000 ballots had been counted by early Wednesday morning.

"Of the total number of votes counted, 86% (32 505 votes) support wage strike action in pursuit of the union's demands," said Kriel.

About 86% of members in the Western Cape and Gauteng, 85% of KwaZulu-Natal workers and 81% in the Eastern Cape backed the strike. There were still some adjustments to be made, but these were not expected to change the voting results.

He said clothing employers had until Monday to agree to their demands, failing which more than 50 000 workers would down tools.

Increase for members
Sactwu's national organising secretary Chris Gina said the matter now lay in the hands of employers.

"We have written a letter to them inviting them to a meeting on August 26 in Durban. The meeting is to give them the last window period to make up their minds."

Sactwu wanted a 7% increase for its members working in metro areas.

"They [the employers] are offering 7%, but with conditions [attached] to it.
The increase must be a clean one with no string or conditions attached to it," Gina said.

The union called for employers to narrow the wage gap between workers in metro and non-metro areas.

If an agreement was not met after Monday's meeting, the trade union would serve the employers with 48-hours' notice before going on strike.

"The ball is now in the employer's court," he said. – Sapa

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