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Zheng Yong garment mfg fire loss rise to E3.5 Mn

May '06
Zheng Yong Garment Manufacturer's processing department was burnt down in fire which resulted in a massive loss of E3.5 million on Thursday evening.

The blaze engulfed and destroyed waste material, valued around E2.3 million. It was meant to be sewn into finished goods whereas other completed clothing awaited shipment.

It had paid E1.2 million for labour for the work that caught fire, resulting into a further loss.

The company's General Manager Cherry Xue said the goods destroyed in the fire were for orders that were being processed.

She said the possibility of lay-offs in the near future could not be ruled out.

"The pieces of cloth that had been sewn would have been finished and transported to the customer abroad," she said.

Cherry informed about this in a meeting with Minister of Enterprise and Employment Lutfo Dlamini at factory premises.

Minister was accompanied by Labour Commissioner Jinnoh Nkambule, Senior Police Officers and Members of Parliament, Magwagwa Mdluli and Senator Princess Maxine. He was taken on a guided tour to show the smouldering rubble from the fire.

"It's not an accident, we suspect it was deliberate arson because when people come in, they have to register at the gate," he said.

Xue and Human Resources Manager, Moses Msibi believed it to be an inside job.

The fire started when employees had engaged in a strike action to force management to recognise a union.

The Industrial Court ruled the strike to be illegal on Friday, as the unions had not followed the procedure laid down for engaging in strike.

The two unions SPRAWU and SMAWU are both claiming legitimacy in representing workers whereas Management recognised the latter as it was first to sign a recognition agreement.

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