Zalatex workers to smile

Striking workers at Zalatex were yesterday given a new lease on life when management promised to increase their salaries by 5 percent.

Striking workers at Zalatex were yesterday given a new lease on life when management promised to increase their salaries by 5 percent.

The increase, said shop steward Nomzekelo Rarane, would be backdated to last month.

Though the employees were not sure of their future in the company, Rarane said management had promised to do everything in its power to save it from shutting down.

The employees, who are members of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers' Union (Ceppwawu), have been on a wage strike since the beginning of this month.

The employees have been picketing outside the condom manufacturing company to back their 13percent wage demands.

Rarane was unable to say if the strike would come to an end. They are expected to meet with management again on Monday.

Political parties and other community organisations yesterday raised their concerns over the condom scandal and called for an intensive investigation.

The Democratic Alliance said it was impossible to minimise the gravity of the disclosure that more than 4,6million condoms that failed SABS quality testing had been distributed to the public.

"How many people could get infected or have already been infected by HIV-Aids as a result of defective condoms?" asked Jack Bloom, the party's Gauteng health spokesman.

He said advisory notices should be sent to the specific areas where they were distributed to identify the defective batch. He demanded a full disclosure on the matter.

"So far, we have not heard anything on this matter from the Gauteng health department, which is the biggest distributor of condoms in the country," he said.

The Inkatha Freedom Party said the allegations that a SABS official connived with a government-contracted company to approve faulty condoms amounted death sentence for millions of South Africans.

The KwaZulu-Natal IFP spokesman on health, Bonginkosi Buthelezi said: "This situation presents a potential disaster and it totally negates all the work that has been done to urge the public to use condoms."

X