The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) has settled its national wage dispute in the clothing industry after a majority of employer associations agreed to the union's demands.

The agreement was signed and ratified by five of the six clothing employer associations yesterday (2 September). The deal will see metro area clothing workers' wages rise by 7%, non-metro area workers will receive a 10.1% wage increase and all wage increases will be backdated to 1 September.

The union said that clothing employers that have increased wages without its consent, and party employers that have not signed the agreement, will be required to implement a further 1% wage increase.

The union had a mandate from workers to call a strike if its demands were not met, which could have seen more than 50,000 workers stopping work.

SACTWU has completed its annual negotiations across distribution, textiles and sheltered employment, with wage settlements varying between 7-20%. Sheltered employment saw packages rise 20%, while the others saw wages rise 7-9.5%.