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Footwear manufacturing workers back at work after 5-week strike

The National Union of Leather and Allied Workers says the protected strike, that started on 9 July, has caused a 95% shutdown in the sector.

FILE: Footwear workers in Western Cape participating in the national footwear sector strike. Picture: @SACTWU/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Employees in the footwear manufacturing sector are back at work after a nearly five-week-long strike.

The industrial action was suspended this week. It led to a near complete shutdown of the sector.

The National Union of Leather and Allied Workers says the protected strike, that started on 9 July, has caused a 95% shutdown in the sector.

Workers and employers agreed to a 7.5% across the board wage increase, as well as adjustments to the family responsibility leave provisions.

The wage increase will be backdated to 1 July and will be effective for a 12-month period.

Under the new rules for employees' leave provisions, a worker will be allowed time off when a spouse is hospitalised or suffers from a serious chronic illness.

The union's general secretary, Ashley Benjamin, says workers embarked on the strike as a last resort.

“We’re happy that our demands are being met and we’re back at work and we want this industry to return to normality.”

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