Eskom is portraying us as ‘violent savages’‚ says union

15 June 2018 - 16:52 By Nico Gous
Demonstrators protest outside Megawatt Park, Sunninghill, June 14, 2018. Eskom workers are demanding a 15% salary increase while Eskom has decided to cut completely any increases for this year, saying they simply do not have the funds.
Demonstrators protest outside Megawatt Park, Sunninghill, June 14, 2018. Eskom workers are demanding a 15% salary increase while Eskom has decided to cut completely any increases for this year, saying they simply do not have the funds.
Image: Greg Roxburgh

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has hit back at Eskom after the power utility claimed its members were contributing to the load-shedding with sabotage.

“How do we know that the executives at Eskom are not responsible for sabotaging their own network?” Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said.

“They have a vested interest in portraying our members as violent savages‚ when in fact‚ they are simply expressing their democratic right to protest and are fighting for a living wage for their families.”

According to Numsa‚ their members did picket on Thursday with the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) but they were “not on strike”.

“They were registering their disgust with the SOE (state-owned enterprise) after it insulted workers with a 0% wage offer.”

Numsa‚ Num and Solidarity have lodged a dispute with the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) after wage negotiations deadlocked last week.

Eskom confirmed on Friday that load-shedding was underway across the country due to acts of “intimidation and sabotage” at some of its power stations. 

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said: “Acts of intimidation and sabotage continue today at some of Eskom’s power stations‚ a move that has begun to threaten the security of power supply.”

The parastatal commenced with stage 1 load-shedding on Thursday just before 6pm‚ citing incidents of “sabotage” at some of its power stations during a one-day strike by employees over wages.

Hlubi-Majola said if grievances cannot be resolved at the CCMA‚ the labour union will seek a certificate of non-resolution after which they can legally strike.


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