The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) on Tuesday expressed its outrage at the announcement that manufacturer Seardel would close some of its divisions.

“We are outraged at the fact that another significant part of South Africa’s industrial capacity has been brought to a position where it may close down and believe that this decision needs to be urgently reviewed,” the union said.

“There is a special responsibility on HCI [the majority shareholder] and government to do more than it has done to date to save these jobs and prevent such a crucial part of our local high-level productive capacity from being lost.”

The union said that it had taken note of the announcement by Seardel of its intention to close down the spinning, weaving, finishing and denim divisions of Frame Textiles’ vertical pipeline.

The union said that the company had advised that a final decision had not yet been made, that it is subject to further consultations with the union, but that it envisages that 1 400 jobs would be lost, should the closure proceed.

Each of these 1 400 jobs support at least an average of six dependants, the union said.

It said that workers in those sections of the Frame vertical pipeline, which is now being considered for closure, had made enormous sacrifices to help keep the company afloat.

Sactwu said that during the course of last year, these workers voluntarily accepted a 15% to 20% reduction in their total cost of employment and had agreed to work a more onerous shift pattern.

“The multiplier effect of this decision, if it proceeds, is much worse, not only for South Africa but also for the whole Southern African region.

Source: Mail and Guardian