Will Eskom call Numsa’s bluff?

2014-06-29 10:09

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By Wednesday, Eskom will have to call a major bluff after the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) threatened to call out 9?000 “essential services” workers on an unprotected strike this week.

At the same time, Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations might become bargaining chips in a separate strike by the metal and engineering industries, set to begin on Tuesday.

Numsa this week announced that its members at the power utility will hold a protest march.

“The intention is to move towards a full strike,” says Steve Nhlapo, Numsa’s sector coordinator for energy and non-precious metals.

“On Tuesday we will see the response,” he told City Press.

Numsa claims 9?000 members across Eskom, including at its head offices.

“The majority are in the power stations,” says Nhlapo.

Eskom’s current wage offer to unions is 5.6% for three years, while the union’s demand is 12%.

According to Nhlapo, the strike could also affect the building sites of Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations.

The slightest threat to once again delay the switch-on date for Medupi is a powerful bargaining chip, but employers in the metals industries seem ready to dig in their heels.

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