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South African Cotton Textile Workers Get Above-Inflation Wage Hike

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South African cotton textile workers have scored another pay raise victory.

As many as 4,630 workers from 70 woven cotton textile factories across the country will see their pay increase 8.25% backdated to July 1, 2016, a rate that’s higher than the current rate of inflation (which has been hovering around 6 percent this year).

Negotiations were fairly quiet and quick to be resolved in contrast to last year when members of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) went on strike for three weeks demanding better pay. The strike helped secure workers an 8.5% pay increase last year.

The two-year agreement for this year’s wages covers improvements in prescribed minimum wages, retirement fund contributions and bargaining council levies.

“This above inflation settlement is a major step forward in SACTWU’s 2016 Living Wage Campaign,” SACTWU said in a statement.

The wage agreement will now be submitted to South Africa’s Minister of Labor with a request to extend the deal to include all non-party employers in the cotton textile sector.

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