NUM members call for a total electricity shutdown, Eskom says contingency measures are in place

There has been a call for a total electricity shutdown on Thursday.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has released a statement regarding the call for a national shutdown of the electricity supply.

The statement said that NUM is unhappy due to the fact that Eskom has “the audacity to say that they are not giving the workers anything”, even though there have been a number of increases in the country including VAT and petrol and the fact that electricity tariffs are due to increase.

Instead, the statement read Eskom wants to minimise or even suspend the hard-earned negotiated conditions of service unilaterally.

In the statement they said that they viewed Eskom’s approach of sticking to the “straightjacket mandate of zero per cent to all NUM’s demands by the Eskom negotiating team as a wasteful and fruitless exercise.”

“Under these circumstances, NUM members are calling for a national shutdown of electricity supply.

“It is a painful decision that the brutal Eskom negotiating team pushed our members to take.

“We will be communicating a programme of action which will run at the national, provincial and branch levels,” the statement read.

 

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It carried on to say that workers had heeded the call to have all hands on deck to try and rescue the situation when the country was facing load shedding and the results were astounding with no load shedding taking place again.

“Our members are saying a zero per cent increase is equal to zero per cent megawatts.

“We urge all hospitals and other national strategic areas to prepare themselves by using backup generators to minimise the damage from the upcoming total blackout.

“Eskom workers are tired of being treated like machines.

“Workers are saying the battle line has been drawn by the reckless decisions by Eskom management,” read the statement.

“The executive decisions that led to the organisation’s financial woes can never be the worker’s burden, therefore, it can never be correct to make the hard working workers’ pay for irresponsible decisions.

“The NUM has no option but to react harshly and firmly to this nonsensical offer by making sure that our anger is felt right up to the bone marrow of Eskom.

“A total shutdown is looming,” the statement said.

In a statement released by Eskom, Eskom said they sympathise with their over 47 000 employees who have worked very hard to help keep the lights on during the past financial year.

However, due to the difficult financial situation that the company currently faces, Eskom has decided to offer no salary increases this year, the statement read.

“Eskom has noted the statements made by the trade unions about their intentions to embark on an industrial action this Thursday.

“Eskom has been designated as an essential service provider, and, therefore, our employees are reminded that they are not allowed to participate in strike actions.

“In an effort to ensure security of the power supply, Eskom will activate its contingency measures should the industrial action take place.

“Eskom will continue to provide regular updates about the state of the power system through various media platforms,” the statement read.

 

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  AUTHOR
Germiston City News

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