The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) had settled a wage dispute in the footwear industry, the trade union said yesterday.

“This comes after footwear employers tabled an improved wage offer last week, following a meeting held with them the previous week,” Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel said.

Union members accepted the offer on Friday and they returned to work on Monday.

Members of the National Union of Leather and Allied Workers began striking earlier this month and Sactwu joined the protected national strike.

The unions wanted a minimum pay rise of 7.75 percent across the board. They wanted employers to set up a fund to help retrain staff should their work be replaced by new technology and machinery.

They also wanted employers to fast-track a reference pricing system for the footwear industry, under the auspices of the SA Revenue Service. This would help customs officials deal with under-invoicing, and stop counterfeit and illegal imports from entering the country.

Kriel said yesterday that the settlement package was 8 percent, covering a wage increase and an improved annual bonus.

The wage increases would be effective on Tuesday. – Sapa