It is official, Chinese factories in Newcastle will be shutting their doors in an act of solidarity.
In a statement issued by the Factory Co-operative, the shutdown will commence on Monday morning, August 3, and end on August 16.
According to the Factory Co-operative, the planned shutdown follows a series of events. Events which have resulted in factory owners taking the serious decision of closing business for two weeks.
These events include the brutal murder of the Chinese factory owner, Peter Chan, on July 26.
On Monday, July 27, a day after the murder, a group of approximately 500 protestors gathered at Madadeni, Section 6, and at the intersection between Madadeni and Newcastle. The Factory Co-operative says the protestors brought traffic to a standstill, with commuters stranded. This left some commuters either having to return home or walk to work.
“Further, the Newcastle has become the highest infection rate area in KZN, with 1 516 per 100 000 compared with epicentre Durban of 1 124 per 100 000. (Above figures was quoted from Discovery claim data on 07/25),” the statement reads.
While the Factory Co-operative apologises for the inconvenience which the shutdown will cause, can the community blame them?
The Factory Co-operative explains this was no easy decision. But it believes the decision is in the best interest of their members and staff’s health and safety.
This is largely due to the unlawful and violent actions that factory owners and their staff face. As well as the stigma levelled against them. Add the soaring infection rates in Newcastle, especially where factories are situated, who can blame the factory owners?