The EFF joined protesting Aspen Pharmacare workers yesterday at the Port Elizabeth plant because they fear the strike could affect the supply of antiretrovirals (ARVs).
The party’s Nelson Mandela Bay branches took part in the strike after an e-mail to the pharmaceutical giant’s management about the strike’s impact on the lifesaving medication went unanswered.
EFF members blocked an entrance to the plant, demanding a response to their e-mail.
EFF regional secretary Zilindile Vena said: “We are worried that the production of ARVs is on halt. We understand the dispute between the employer and the employees.
“We wrote an e-mail to the employer requesting assurance that the community will get ARVs, and they failed to respond . . .
“We want to know that the community will not suffer. We don’t care about their industrial strike.”
The EFF members later joined striking Aspen workers, who were also picketing outside the plant.
South African Chemicals Union local organiser Thulani Radasi said they wanted a wage increment of 10% but were being offered 7.5%.
“Production is affected as only a number of people are working,” Radasi said.
Aspen spokeswoman Shauneen Beukes said: “Aspen does not engage in union-related issues through the media.”