Workers at Eskom embarked on a full-blown strike to demand decent wage increases between eight to 10 percent, and a 3,000 rand (about 225 U.S. dollars) housing allowance.

EskomCOSATU fully supports the decision by the National Union of Mineworker (NUM) to go on strike at Eskom, COSATU national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.

“Eskom’s finances have stabilized and workers have played their role in turning around the parastatal,” he said.

The problem with Eskom management is that they do not view the payment of salaries as an investment but as expenditure, he added.

When the workers managed to stabilize electricity supply and stop load shedding, they were congratulating themselves and were saying nothing about the workers, Pamla said.

On Tuesday, Eskom celebrated one year of no load shedding in the country that had been hit by constant blackouts that began in November 2014.

“These workers deserve to be taken seriously and be remunerated accordingly for working hard to stabilize Eskom and also for keeping the wheels of the South African economy turning. Eskom workers are also consumers and they have suffered from Eskom’s exorbitant electricity price hikes that have impacted negatively on the cost of living for all,” Pamla said.

“The steady supply of electricity is dependent on an efficient and functioning Eskom and that is not possible, if workers are demotivated and underpaid,” he said.

He called on all communities and COSATU affiliates to support NUM in their strike action and practice the principle of solidarity.

All members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Eskom power stations across the country went on a strike on Wednesday, joining workers who downed tools at three power stations on Monday.

NUM has about 15,000 members at Eskom — almost a third of the company’s workforce of 47,000.

The strike may effect electricity output at the utility’s power plants. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana


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