Over 3000 clothing and textile workers marched against “poverty wages and exploitation” in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday, the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) said.
“Workers marched through town and handed memoranda to the Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Bargaining Council (NBC),” said Sactwu regional secretary Dennis Maluleka.
He said the workers had called on Newcastle employers to stop claiming that workers were prepared to accept their existing wages.
He said the union demanded that employers work with the NBC to ensure employees receive minimum wages, maternity leave and overtime.
“The gazetted wage set by the council is R489 a week for the clothing industry outside metropolitan areas. These employers are only paying R200 or less.”
“Workers are determined to intensify their fight for a living wage and job protection,” he said.
NBC general secretary Sicelo Nduna said the council was still deciding how to approach the issues brought up in the memorandum.
“I am going to discuss this with the council and we will only be able to decide on a way forward once we understand the situation better,” he said. – Sapa