Eskom’s Medupi coal-fired power station is situated near some of Limpopo’s most beautiful terrain.

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Sunday threatened industrial action over Eskom's plans to close some power stations.

Numsa was dismayed and shocked by Eskom's announcement this week that it planned to shut down five coal-fired power stations, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said.

Eskom announced this week that five power stations - Hendrina, Kriel, Komati, Grootvlei, and Camden - would be closed, he said.

At least 6 000 workers' jobs were on the line and Numsa wanted to place it on record that no consultation took place between the board of Eskom and the trade unions. Furthermore, Numsa was convinced that the lack of consultation demonstrated that there was an attempt to "hide the real reasons for this drastic course of action".

"Eskom is well aware that if it has plans to end jobs or retrench workers it must follow due process which includes declaring section 189 so that proper retrenchment processes can take place. This has not happened," Jim said.

Read also: Eskom cancels six coal transport contracts

Numsa had been engaging workers on the ground to establish the next course of action. If necessary Numsa would go on strike and "if that means plunging the country into darkness then that is the strategy we must adopt".

"As Numsa we will do whatever is legally necessary to defend the thousands of jobs which are at stake," Jim said. Numsa was looking to engage with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on this issue.

"For the sake of the workers, we need to put our ideological differences aside to formulate a united strategy to fight this attack on workers."

Numsa was also consulting lawyers to establish if it had any legal recourse to deal with the latest onslaught against workers and their families, Jim said

AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY