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South African Footwear Union to Strike Over Wage Dispute

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The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), announced on Friday that it plans to go on a wage strike beginning Monday.

SACTWU is joining forces with a larger union in the footwear industry, the National Union of Leather and Allied Workers (NULAW), after their talks stalled with footwear manufacturers over wage increases. SACTWU is demanding a 10 percent raise, but workers are only being offered a 7.75% increase from employers, according to Reuters.

Approximately 164 international companies could be affected by the strike, including Puma and Adidas.

The union also declared a wage dispute in the wool and mohair textiles sector, citing that employers were offering a 6.5% raise against workers’ request for a 9.5% increase.

According to Reuters, the impending strike is the latest industrial action to hit the damaged South African economy, which is nearing its mid-year “strike season.” The country is reeling from a five-month stoppage in the platinum sector. Meanwhile, South Africa’s biggest union said a wage strike in the metals and engineering industries is inevitable.

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