Sactwu declares series of wage disputes

The textile industry is being rocked by wage disputes. COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union says they’ve declared 18 wage disputes affecting of 14-thousand workers. The union accuses involved companies of using the covid-19 crisis to rob workers of what they say is rightfully theirs. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union is accusing the textile industry of using COVID-19 to rob workers.

The union is involved in 18 wage disputes in the sector.

It says over 60,000 workers are affected.

READ: Lifeline for clothing sector workers 

Negotiations are currently under way.

Fachmy Abrahams said a dispute in the clothing sector was declared last Thursday.

"That affects about 60,000 workers so whilst we've resolved one, we're still back at 80,000 workers countrywide. 

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"The main similarity in all of these disputes is, the union is completely understanding of the situation, but it seems as if the employers want to roll back years and years of struggle of workers," Abrahams said.

"The key issue is the reduction in worker's wages and the reduction in conditions of employment, deferred wages which are due at the end of the year, that they don't want to pay. That's been the main issue with regards to the dispute."

Abrahams said some companies have proposed reducing the amount contributed to workers' provident funds as well.