Eskom em­ploy­ees dis­grun­tled

Work­ers march peace­fully to FS head­quar­ter to hand over mem­o­ran­dum of griev­ances

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - FREE STATE NEWS - MICHAEL TLHAKUDI michaelt@the­newage.co.za

A HAND­FUL of dis­grun­tled Eskom em­ploy­ees be­long­ing to NUM this week marched peace­fully to Eskom’s provin­cial head­quar­ters and handed over a mem­o­ran­dum de­mand­ing the power util­ity not sign agree­ments with 27 in­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­ers (IPPs) for re­new­able en­ergy.

The em­ploy­ees who marched from Loch Lo­gan Park said Eskom should not do busi­ness with IPPs un­less they were owned and reg­u­lated by the gov­ern­ment.

Among other griev­ances are that Eskom should stop us­ing labour bro­kers and tem­po­rary em­ploy­ees and put an ur­gent stop to the Eskom call cen­tre cen­tral­i­sa­tion.

NUM Free State deputy re­gional sec­re­tary Isaac Mt­shot­wana said they also de­manded that Eskom com­ply with the 2016 wage agree­ment ad­dress­ing the wage dif­fer­en­tials with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

He said su­per­vi­sors must stop vic­tim­is­ing and ha­rass­ing em­ploy­ees as de­lib­er­ated on the meet­ing with Eskom in Fe­bru­ary.

The man­age­ment must also stop im­ple­ment­ing cer­tain is­sues and later bring them to re­gional fo­rum for dis­cus­sion, thereby un­der­min­ing the fo­rums and unions. All union mem­ber­ship ad­min­is­tra­tion must be treated and han­dled equally it said.

The em­ploy­ees also de­manded that provin­cial gen­eral man­ager Lindiwe Mthombeni step down im­me­di­ately.

The march comes af­ter Numsa and Trans­form RSA launched an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion in the North Gaut­eng High Court in Pre­to­ria in March to pre­vent Min­is­ter of En­ergy Jeff Radebe from sign­ing the power pur­chase agree­ments with the 27 IPPs pend­ing a sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tion by the Coal Trans­porters Fo­rum to in­ter­dict the deal.

Mt­shot­wana said the depart­ment placed the sign­ing on hold un­til the mat­ter was heard – in the spirit of con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism and the rule of law.

He said the deals would only lead to short term em­ploy­ment.

Other de­mands from the union in­clude giv­ing in­di­vid­u­als on learn­er­ships em­ploy­ment at the end of their term as well as giv­ing two Eskom cen­tre re­cep­tion­ists per­ma­nent em­ploy­ment.

The em­ploy­ees have given the power util­ity seven days to re­spond.

Ac­cept­ing the mem­o­ran­dum on be­half of Mthombeni who was ap­par­ently in an ur­gent meet­ing, Sylvester Bareng a se­nior manger at Eskom, said he would hand the mem­o­ran­dum to Mthombeni and the se­nior man­age­ment and promised to re­spond in a week.

“I ac­cept the mem­o­ran­dum on be­half of man­age­ment and we prom­ise you we will get a re­sponse in seven days,” he said.

PIC­TURE: GETTY IMAGES

DE­MAND: Eskom em­ploy­ees want re­new­able en­ergy con­tracts stopped.

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