Eskom says it plans to take disciplinary action against workers who embarked on an illegal strike

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Eskom says it plans to take disciplinary action against workers who embarked on an illegal strike at various power stations. Eskom CEO, Andre De Ruyter says if workers fail to heed the call of their union leadership to return to work, then the country will be left in a precarious situation.

He says Eskom workers are essential workers and are therefore not supposed to go on strike. De Ruyter says he has met with President Cyril Ramaphosa on two occasions to discuss the ongoing situation but is not at liberty to make any public announcement on those discussions at this stage.

“But we will be taking disciplinary action against workers that have stayed away unlawfully, that may include the application of the principle of no work no pay.  Where there were acts of intimidation and violence the Eskom disciplinary code will apply and we will process various investigations accordingly and where there are criminal acts, these will be reported to the SA Police Service,” says Ruyter.

Unresolved issues

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), William Mabapa, says the unions have reached a consensus with Eskom on some items with regard to the wage negotiations, however, there are some issues that remain unresolved and require further consideration.

NUM and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) are meeting with Eskom’s leadership in Sandton, north of Johannesburg to discuss wages and a resolution to the illegal strike that has resulted in increased levels of lrolling blackouts.

Rolling blackouts are now expected to continue at Stage 4 until 10pm on Friday before being lowered to Stage Two until 7 o’clock on Saturday morning.

Mabapa says Eskom has presented an offer.

“Eskom has presented an offer but on the offer that Eskom has presented there are five items, and in principle, there are two areas that we think we are moving along, and there are three areas that Eskom is taking a caucus to discuss so that they can respond to us.  If after the caucus those issues that we’ve raised will be responded to in a positive manner, we will see huge progress that will give us something we can go back to the workers and get a mandate on the way forward,” says Mabapa.

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