The trade unions whinge because the Bok apparel provider makes clothes in China…
So having spent the 80′s and early 90′s destroying our textiles industry and driving manufacturers into buying Chinese and losing all their jobs the unions have now changed their minds… understandably so… losing your job is not a cool alternative to having a high wage.
Anyway, so it turns out that the unions HAVE learned a lesson from the 80′s and 90′s.
The Clothing and Textiles Workers Union in 2007 asked fans to boycott Canterbury and other licensed Bok wear because it is made in China. After a chat to SARU they changed their minds.
But instead of kowtowing they actually went back and drew up a plan which would see the locals manufacture Bok licensed goods locally at a competitive price compared to the Chinese made stuff. Last year the local manufacturing industry proved its worth when it manufactured all the Bafana fan gear locally for the Football version. It’s general secretary Andre Kriel even had a meeting with SARU to discuss how they could utilize the skills from the football world cup to support local textiles manufacturers in the rugby world cup. This was last year already.
SARU apparently smiled and made nodding noises, got themselves a licensing agent called Signet Licensing and went to China.
If true I think it is important that local fans should know tat the present huge drive to wear SARU branded clothing (not just the Canterbury stuff, but the cheap tee shirts, sweaters and beanies in Ackermans and Pick N Pay and the like) could have been made locally and could have helped local textiles manufacturers and created jobs, but SARU has apparently shown a total disdain for helping local.
When the newspaper The Star approached SARU, their comms manager Rayaan Adriaanse fobbed off the reporter and referred them to some character called Alex Cotchobos of Signet Licensing… a clear cop out of accountability to the local community. SARU missed a trick here. Their cavalier attempts to shrug off responsibility for assisting local manufacturers and showing some patriotism while at the same time demanding it from South Africans is actually sickening… given the lengths Bafana went to in order to assist the local manufacturing community.
I am not one for big deals on these kinds of issues, but I agree with Cosatu here… we should actually NOW boycott SARU apparel. I have never bought their licensed stuff and I don’t intend to now either…