Today's Labour News

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eskomMail & Guardian reports that at a joint press conference on Tuesday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said, despite previous reports, the unions would only go on strike if the law permitted it.  

Although it was reported that the two trade unions would hold a one-day shutdown at Eskom on Thursday over 0% salary increases, many workers are restricted from striking as they are deemed to render essential services.  Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said workers would be picketing during lunchtime at Eskom power stations around the country, with a mass demonstration at MegaWatt Park to take place on Thursday at lunch.  Jim responded to questions of whether or not the demonstrations would mean the “lights will go off” by simply saying:  “If the lights switch off, it will be because workers are exercising their protest in rejection of the 0% offer.”  He said the unions, including Solidarity, were taking the legal route by declaring a dispute of interest in order to put an end to the wage negotiation deadlock.  “We’ll exhaust all options legally before choosing to go on strike,” Jim emphasised.  Eskom’s 0% wage increase offer comes amid the state-owned entity’s implementation of austerity measures.


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