Eskom employees disgruntled
Workers march peacefully to FS headquarter to hand over memorandum of grievances
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.
DEMAND: Eskom employees want renewable energy contracts stopped.