Union launches protest against international clothing brands
THE SOUTHERN African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) is set to embark on a nationwide protest against international clothing brands H&M and Zara today.
The Cosatu-affiliated union said it was protesting against Zara and H&M because the brands carried no South African-made products.
Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel said yesterday that the union wanted to highlight the damage that was being caused to the domestic clothing industry.
“Over the last two years our clothing, textile, footwear and leather industry has experienced a renewed wave of job losses and factory closures,” said Kriel.
“One of the key reasons is the entry and growth of large international retailers like Zara, H&M and Cotton On.”
The protests will take place nationwide. In Gauteng, protests will take place at Clearwater Mall, Cresta and Sandton Mall, and China Mall in Pretoria.
“These retailers conduct business in our country, but they carry no South African-made products and they snip market share from many South African retailers which stock South African-made goods,” said Kriel.
“These foreign retailers cause fewer orders in South African factories which contribute to local retrenchments and factory closures. South Africa cannot af- ford further unemployment.”
Sactwu is expecting about a thousand of their members to take part in the protests today.
Kriel said they were hoping to engage with these retailers and assist them in sourcing quality local suppliers. “We are hoping that these retailers will not only extract money from our economy but also make a contribution.
“Cotton On is also an international retailer, but they have shown an interest in engaging with us.”
A Zara store in central Madrid, Spain.