SA’s electricity public utility, Eskom has obtained a court interdict to prevent employees from embarking on a strike.
The power utility obtained the court interdict on Tuesday after the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said its members at Eskom will embark on a full-blown strike in all nine provinces of South Africa on Wednesday.
Workers at the electricity public utility downed their working tools at three of SA’s power stations as a wage strike began though the company said its operations had not yet been impacted and branded the stoppage illegal.
NUM national spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu explained that Eskom obtained an interdict against the wage strike by members, which started on Monday. NUM is currently communicating with the shop steward council on the issue, he said.
To this, NUM Eskom energy sector coordinator Paris Mashego reveled that the union is set to meet with Eskom at 10:00. He said NUM called an urgent national shop steward council meeting on Tuesday to discuss Eskom’s decision to reconsider its 7% offer.
He said that the court interdict will enable the electricity public utility to take disciplinary action against employees who are not at work because of the strike.
“Employees are not supposed to be striking, picketing or demonstrating. If their conduct is contrary to the court ruling they will be breaking the law and will have to account to the court.”
Eskom’s Paris Mashego also said that the aim is to reach “some agreement” regarding wage demands. “Eskom has always been offering a 7% to 9% wage increase,” he said said on Tuesday that it has contingency plans in place, so load shedding will not occur during the strike.
After the meeting, members reduced their demand of a 12% wage increase to 10% for the lowest paid workers and 8.5% for the highest paid workers, said Mammburu. The housing allowance has also been revised down from R5 000 to R3 000.