The union is currently engaged with employers over wage increments with SACTWU having issued employers with threats of facing a national strike action.

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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)-affiliated union has about 80,000 clothing workers who might embark on industrial action which could further haemorrhage South Africa’s ailing economy.

“We cannot negotiate forever. Wage increases are due on 1 September this year, in less than three weeks from now,” said the union in a statement.

The employers’ current final offer is a total labour cost increase of seven per cent and the union is demanding a nine per cent increase.

The union submitted its 2014 wage demands early this year and has held a round of wage negotiations.

“We are of the view that we have granted employers enough time and a fair opportunity to find a constructive settlement with us. It appears increasingly that industrial action might have to be invoked, in order to break the deadlock.”

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The possibility of a strike comes as a negative development to a country still trying to recover from the metalworkers and the platinum mines strikes.

Exports in the apparel sector account for 1.4 billion rand and 2.5 billion rand for textiles, mostly to the US and European markets.

Analysts at a media breakfast meeting on Tuesday at Saxo Capital Markets expressed concern with the increasing number of strikes saying that these could have long term effects on South Africa’s investment prospects.