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South African Footwear Union Settles Strike

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Ending a two-week strike, Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) agreed to an 8 percent wage increase from employers and returned to work Monday. The wage increases will be effective on July 1, 2014.

SACTWU joined forces with a larger union in the footwear industry, the National Union of Leather and Allied Workers (NULAW), to fight for higher wages on June 9th. The unions originally demanded a 10 percent raise, but were only offered a 7.75% increase from employers.

Andre Kriel, SACTWU General Secretary said, “This comes after footwear employers tabled an improved wage offer last week, following a meeting held with them the previous week.” The wage offer also includes an improved annual bonus.

Over 7,000 workers participated in the strike, affecting roughly 164 international companies. The agreement follows the end to a damaging platinum industry strike in South Africa, the country’s longest and costliest strike in its history.

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