THE Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union and clothing industry employers yesterday signed a national wage agreement worth R128million in increased wages.
The signing ceremony brought an official end to a 55000 people-strong national wage strike, which started on September 15.
The strike was partially suspended when a settlement of the dispute was brokered by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on September 29, but continued in some areas including Botshabelo, Isithebe and QwaQwa until late last week.
According to Sactwu, the settlement is worth R128million in increased wages, which is to be injected into the economy over the duration of the agreement.
"This is a welcome cash stimulus package for the industry and for the country. Wage increases will range from between 7percent to 11,8percent per week on the current minimum wage levels, depending on job category and geographic area," the union said.
The agreement provides for the establishment of a clothing industry productivity institute, a clothing industry training board to upskill workers, mechanisms to address non-compliance with the provisions of the industry agreement by some employers, and a narrowing of the wage gap between metro workers and non-metro workers. - I-Net Bridge