COSATU applauds the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union for concluding successful wage agreements

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) congratulates the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) for successfully concluding wage negotiations for its thousands of members.

The union secured above 7% wage increases in the tanning, General Goods and Handbags (GGH) leather and footwear sectors.  These hard won increases will help these low paid workers take care of their families and prevent their salaries from being eroded by inflation.

As we have seen in this current economic tide, employers are tearing apart collective bargaining agreements and undermining labour market stability. SACTWU went into these negotiations with the militancy needed to reach settlements that would not only boost salaries but also improve the conditions of the workers in the respective sectors.

With effect from 1 July 2023:

·       Footwear sector members will receive a 7% wage increase.

·     Members in the Goods and Handbags (GGH) leather sector will also receive a wage increase of 7%. In addition to their current paid Family Responsibility Leave (FRL) provisions, an additional day of unpaid FRL will be granted to those workers who wish to take up such an option.

·     Workers in the tanning industry will receive a slightly higher increase of 7.5%. The agreement also includes the reduction of learnership periods by 6 months, from the previously applicable 12 months.  Workers on learnerships will now earn the qualified rate after 6 months, instead of currently a year later. The new collective agreement also provides for an expansion of this sector’s Family Responsibility Leave provision, to include being excused from work when the employee’s biological grandparent is ill.

COSATU commends the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union for these achievements. We also commend the bargaining councils for acknowledging and respecting the union and its members and collective bargaining.

Issued by COSATU     

For further information please contact:

Matthew Parks

Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687