Two factories closed, four more to go at Newcastle

2011-05-04 00:00

THE National Bargaining Council in the Clothing and Textile sector has shut down two textile factories in the Newcastle area and is preparing to close down another four as it fights the owners to pay the workers 70% of the legal minimum wage.

The bargaining council and the factories have been locked in a minimum wage dispute for the past eight months.

Chairperson of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce Alex Lui said the two factories were shut down yesterday morning. One was his factory, Simunye, and the other Starfair.

The closure of these factories will cost at least 300 workers their jobs and the pending closure is expected to affect thousands more.

Lui said he was surprised by the closure of his factory as he was still in negotiation with the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) to restructure his business to meet the minimum wage demands.

The restructuring would involve laying off some workers to increase the wages of the remaining workforce to meet the minimum wage demands.

He said the actions of the bargaining council are inappropriate. “I believe that because I am one of the negotiators with the bargaining council, they believed that I am one of the troublemakers and they started out by shutting me down.”

He said their members had planned to meet last night to decide a way forward. “Our problem is that the inspector has closed down our factories, but has not been here once to check whether the factories were complying with the council.

“Our members have decided that if the bargaining council continues with its … actions, we will close down the factories on Thursday and on Friday in protest.”

In a statement, the United Clothing and Textile Association (UCTA) said it has been told that the bargaining council is planning to close down factories.

Wayne van Der Rheede of Sactwu said the factories were closed down due to non-compliance.

“As for other factories, we will monitor the situation on a daily basis,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.