The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has commenced with its national footwear sector strike, this morning.
Our trade union commenced a national strike ballot in the footwear manufacturing sector on Monday last week. This secret ballot was completed on Friday past and 86% of our members voted in favour of strike action.
The strike commenced at 10am today with thousands of footwear workers joining the strike demanding a better wage increase
The issue in dispute is the employers’ final wage offer of 6.25%, which has been rejected by our members. We demand a 9.5% package increase.
Wage increases in the footwear sector were due on 1 July 2018.
We are working jointly with the National Union of Leather & Allied Workers (NULAW). As at 13h00 today, our strike survey showed that close to 10 000 footwear workers have embarked on national wage strike action. Our survey shows that most footwear factories have been shut down. These include for example Oudtshoorn Footwear in South Western District (600 workers), Dicks Whittington Shoes in KZN Midlands (360 workers), Bresan Footwear in Pietermaritzburg (130 workers), SOP Trading in Pietermaritzburg (70 workers), Watson Shoes in South Western District (170 workers) Bolton Footwear in Cape Town (900 workers), etc.
We are determined to decisively execute this firm mandate to strike, in pursuit of our demand for a living wage in the footwear sector.
Further media updates will follow over the next few days.
If further practical information is required, kindly contact SACTWU’s National Media Officer, Nazmia Leite, on cell number 072 198 6061.