A national three-week strike involving up to 3,000 cotton sector workers over wages, may now be nearing settlement.

Up to 3,000 employees downed tools at the start of the month in a seven-day strike after the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) issued a notice over salaries. This went down to 1,500 employees last week and this week involved around 600 members.

The issue in dispute is the employers' final wage package increase offer of 7.75%. Members are demanding a 10% increase.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) last week offered a Labour Relations Act Section 150 intervention to the two parties, which the union and employers accepted.

The CCMA mediation meeting convened yesterday and finished at 02:35 this morning.

In a notice today (15 August), the union said: "We announce that the outcome was a recommended settlement of the strike. The union will now consult our members to secure a final mandate whether or not to accept the recommended settlement position.

"We expect that this process will be finalised by Monday next week, where after we intend to announce the specific details involved."