CLOTHING: 30% Reduction In Starting Wages
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE Cape Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the ground-breaking agreement for the clothing industry that will see a 30 percent reduction in starting wages for new workers in the industry.
This will make it much easier for young people to find jobs and to receive training in an industry that has seen massive job losses in recent years.
“When this brave concession is taken together with the scrapping of the 22 percent tax on imported fabric we have a recipe for the revival of a the once great Western Cape garment industry,” said Mr Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber.
“I would like to compliment the union and the employers on their vision and courage. It is not easy for a union to agree to a reduction in starting wages but the union leaders have clearly taken the long-term view that it is necessary to bring new workers into the industry to help it grow and create more jobs in the future.
“I think it’s an agreement where everybody wins. The unions will get more members while the existing work force will still receive their negotiated increase of 6.5 percent in the metropolitan areas. Nobody loses.”
Mr Bagraim said the constructive approach had given new heart to manufacturers and created a climate in which they would be keen to expand their factories and start new projects.
Buyers for the major stores had already indicated that they would now be able to place more orders for local products.
“We have also had a problem of an aging workforce and if there is to be skills transfer to a new generation of craftsmen and women something had to be done to bring young people into the industry. This is now going to happen and we are delighted,” Mr Bagraim said.
Garments from Cape factories had a reputation for high quality and he believed that it was this quality which would ensure that local clothing would replace inferior products from low-cost countries.
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