outh African nonwoven textile sector workers to get 7% wage hike

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has now settled its 2022 wage negotiations with a 7 per cent hike in the nonwoven textile sector. The agreement is part of a series of other settlements that the SACTWU has successfully achieved. The SACTWU had formally raised a dispute regarding wages for the nonwoven textile sector on June 17, 2022.

Earlier discussions regarding wages for the nonwoven textile sector had begun on April 21, 2022. However, when no settlement could be reached even after three rounds of negotiations, SACTWU formally raised the issue, according to an SACTWU press release.

While the settlement regarding wage issues was reached on July 15, 2022, the final agreement was eventually signed on July 21, 2022. These new wage increases for SACTWU’s nonwoven textile sector members will be backdated to July 1, 2022, which is the normal implementation date.

The new agreement for the South African nonwoven textile sector is a two-year agreement, effective from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024. As per the agreement, wages will increase by 7 per cent in the first year and will remain the same in the second year.

This agreement was successfully concluded under the dispute processes and procedures of the National Textile Bargaining Council (NTBC), with employers represented by the National Textile Manufacturers’ Association (NTMA), the release said.

In addition to the wage increases, the agreement also provides for several improvements such as the abolishment of new entry-level wage provisions, an increase in the long service allowance, and a compulsory requirement that annual bonuses are payable no later than at least one week before Christmas day. The restriction that no annual bonus is applicable if an employee resigns before November 1 has also been abolished; the new provision allows such employees to earn a pro-rata annual bonus. The annual bonus has also been increased by one extra paid day.

The new agreement will be submitted to South Africa’s minister of employment and labour along with a request for its gazettal and extension to non-party employers.