NUM threatens unprotected strike

The union is demanding the right to strike at Eskom despite it being declared an essential service.

NUM members protest outside Eskom's offices in Sunninghill on 4 August 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A demonstration by the National Union of Mineworkers ( NUM) at Eskom's headquarters is currently underway.

The union is demanding the right for its members to strike at the power giant despite it being declared an essential service.

The demonstration is taking place despite the Labour Court granting an interdict preventing the union from protesting at Eskom's offices.

The union has also declared a wage dispute with Eskom and has lashed out at its senior managers who have received incentive bonuses.

The NUM says it's determined to ensure its members at Eskom have the right to strike, saying the fact they're designated as essential services staff is illogical.

There are only a few dozen workers gathered outside and they are expected to hand over a memorandum to managers shortly.

Some of the protesters are holding up placards which read, "We will not be intimidated by interdicts" and "Every worker deserves a living wage".

Num General-Secretary Frans Baleni has warned Eskom that its attitude towards workers could lead to an unprotected strike.

"What irritates us is instead of dealing with a deficit of a minimum service level agreement, Eskom is running to the courts. In their papers they are saying every worker is essential, including a worker who is off duty, a person who makes tea - that can't be right."