Mpact’s plastic bottling plant set alight in Germiston

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Employees’ cars were also damaged and set alight, but the situation has been brought under control.

Plastics bottle manufacturing company, Mpact, said today its Wadeville Plastics Preform Plant in Germiston, Ekurhuleni, was damaged after several unidentified individuals entered the premises and damaged employees’ cars and set some alight.

This as thousands of workers affiliated with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) in October downed tools in the plastics sector, demanding a 15 percent salary hike and a R40-an-hour minimum wage instead of the new rate of about R20-an-hour.

Kallie Albertse, general manager as Mpact Plastics Wadeville, said there were no major injuries and no material damage to their production plant and equipment.

“The response from the police and fire department was prompt and the situation was brought under control in a relatively short time, limiting the damage,” Albertse said.

“The motive of the incident is currently unclear. Mpact Plastics division settled its wage dispute with Numsa on the 29th of November 2018 and all employees returned to work on the 3rd of December 2018.”

Albertse said additional security measures have been put in place, adding that Mpact Plastics do not foresee any negative impact on meeting its customers’ requirements. He said a full investigation into the incident was being conducted with the relevant authorities.

The two-months-long strike in the plastic sector has been characterised by violence and damage to property. A security guard, Lesley Lekgalake Mphahlele, was killed after he was doused with petrol and set alight at Makulu Plastics in the East Rand, Ekurhuleni, allegedly by striking workers last week.

Industrial areas that have been affected by the violence and intimidation during the strike include Isando, Spartan, Jet Park, Sebenza and Wadeville. In October, a factory in Ladybrand in the Free State, was burned down by striking workers.

African News Agency (ANA)

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