Wage negotiations in South Africa's leather tanning sector have been settled for the next year, but efforts to end a strike by 7,000 footwear workers have intensified.

The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) says new wages in the leather tanning sector will come into effect on 1 July, and will be equal to a 7% rise on minimum wages for the sector. In addition, workers in the non-auto tanning section will receive an increase in their annual bonus of an extra day's pay.

The agreement was reached under the auspices of the national bargaining council for the leather sector, and follows on from a two-year agreement reached with the South African Tanning Employers Organisation last year.

About 3,100 workers employed in 32 tanning factories nationwide would benefit from the agreement.

However, a meeting is due to take place today (12 June) to try to resolve a strike by more than 7,000 workers in 163 footwear factories. SACTWU members formally joined the strike on Monday (9 June), joining workers from another trade union.

Wage increases are due on 1 July, but while employers' say their final wage offer is a rise of 7.75%, workers are demanding a 10% wage hike.