Picture: Courtney Africa.

Johannesburg - Trade union Sactwu has withdrawn its wage dispute against clothing employers on Thursday, it said.

The dispute was declared on April 16 against the employers for their refusal to bargain, SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union general secretary Andre Kriel said in a statement.

“Subsequent to that, the dispute was conciliated by two senior commissioners of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on May 21 2014, which... failed.”

An unresolved dispute certificate was issued by the CCMA on May 26.

In the interim, on May 22, Sactwu and employers agreed to re-commence discussions on important matters.

“Arising from this engagement, the clothing employer parties to the bargaining council had then tabled a total labour cost increase proposal of 5.75 percent,” Kriel.

“Given the fact that the employers had now actually tabled a wage increase proposal, we can no longer reasonably continue to contend that they are still refusing to negotiate with us.”

Sactwu was encouraged that employers had revised their position.

“We are currently still (reporting) back to our members regarding the developments,” said Kriel.

“We will provide the employers with a detailed response on their 5.75 percent increase offer when the parties meet during the next round of annual wage negotiations.”

The next round was scheduled for next week Wednesday and Thursday.

Kriel said about 100,000 clothing workers around the country were covered by the negotiations. - Sapa