NUMSA to strike over Eskom plan
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