Textile factory rehires staff

2013-04-19 00:00

A MOOI River textile factory has rehired most of its workers after they were fired last month for embarking on an illegal strike.

Yesterday, the chief executive of Tai Yuen Textiles, Ho-Chi Cheng, said they had rehired about 450 employees on six-month contracts.

After the workers were fired, they allegedly set fire to the transformer that supplies electricity to the factory, subsequently halting all remaining operations.

Cheng said Tai Yuen Textiles had lost an estimated R1 million a day after firing 568 workers, its entire labour force.

He said the firm did not rehire shop stewards because they had not applied for the advertised positions.

About 100 women were also not rehired because the clothing, measuring, trimming and cutting section had closed after orders had been cancelled.

“We only resumed operations this Monday after rehiring the workers last week,” said Cheng.

Tai Yuen Textiles also sells cotton in bulk to small companies that make fabric.

The acting manager of Mpofana Municipality, Mario Links, said electricity supply had been temporarily restored about two weeks ago.

He said the municipality was awaiting delivery of a new transformer, which would cost R500 000.

No one has been charged with the alleged sabotage.

South African Clothing and Textile Union regional secretary Dennis Maluleka said the matter was with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and would be heard next Tuesday.

Maluleka said he had heard that the factory had rehired the fired workers, but their union had not been party to that agreement because it was awaiting the outcome of the CCMA hearing.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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