Numsa hands memorandum to Eskom

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NumsaProtestBanners Reuters. Durban, South AfricaMembers of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) protest on the streets of Durban July 1, 2014. More than 220,000 South African engineering and metal workers launched a strike over wages on Tuesday, hot on the heels of a crippling platinum dispute and dealing a further blow to an already weak economy.

Johannesburg - Demonstrating National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) members handed a memorandum to Eskom at the power utility's Johannesburg headquarters on Wednesday.

Numsa members chanted: “CEO, CEO, CEO,” insistently as they waited to hand over their list of demands.

They were told Eskom chief executive Collin Matjila was not at Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, but that a human resources representative would accept the document.

The Numsa crowd, which was blocking the main entrance to Megawatt Park, expressed their displeasure that Matjila was not available.

Numsa spokesman Castro Ngobese shuttled between the union members and Eskom's delegation.

The two groups had been separated by a cordon of red and white tape.

Head of Eskom's human resources Matome Makwela accepted the memorandum. The document was read aloud to the gathering.

Numsa's demands include a 12 percent wage increase in a one-year deal and a R1000 housing allowance.

“Public utilities continue to be places where the top management enrich themselves at the expense of quality service delivery and the improvement of working conditions,” it read.

“We give the employer 48 hours to respond to our demands and return to the negotiating table with a commitment to a double-digit offer for Eskom workers.”

A man in the crowd shouted: “We don't go back to our work if they don't respond”.

Makwela told them he would hand the memorandum to Matjila as soon as possible.

Earlier, men and women in Numsa T-shirts chanted: “Phansi (down with) Eskom, phansi. Phansi 5.6 percent, phansi”.

Eskom reportedly offered 5.6 percent, but would not confirm this, saying wage negotiations were confidential. - Sapa

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