Eskom to activate contingency measures after strike threat

While Eskom sympathises with workers who will not get salary increases, they are not allowed to participate in strikes, the state power utility has said.

On Monday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) said they would hold a hold a one-day shutdown at Eskom on Thursday to protest against 0% salary increases.

Eskom said that, should the industrial action take place, it would activate contingency measures to ensure security of power supply. It did not say what these measures were. 

"Eskom sympathises with its 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," it said in a statement on Tuesday morning. 

The two unions are demanding 15% increases across the board, a housing allowance increase of R2 000, the banning of labour brokers and the insourcing of workers such as cleaners and security guards.

They also want paid maternity leave for six months and paid paternity leave for one month.

"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," the power utility said. 

The unions are set to hold a media briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday to give more information about their planned one-day strike. 

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