JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Thursday called for a total shutdown of South African state-owned power utility, Eskom, following another collapse in wage negotiations. 

Eskom workers are demanding a 15% wage increase across the board in a one-year agreement, 80/20% contribution to medical aid, R2 000 increase in housing allowance, a ban of labour brokers, and paid maternity leave of six months and a one-month paid paternity leave.

Paris Mashego, NUM's energy sector coordinator, said that the executive decisions that led to the organisation's financial woes should not be the worker's burden, and that Eskom's zero percent wage offer was yet another imprudent decision aiming at frustrating the workers.

"The NUM is disgusted by the level of brutal arrogance shown by the black majority led Eskom negotiating team. The negotiation team has suspended their ability to reason and decided to stick to the straight jacket mandate of zero percent to all demands from NUM," Mashego said.

"The NUM has no option but to react harshly and firm to this nonsensical offer by making sure that our anger is felt right up to the bone marrow of Eskom. A total shutdown is looming."

African News Agency/ANA