Over 1,000 workers fired at Medupi

Eskom says the workers were fired by the contractors who employed them.

FILE. The Medupi Power Station in Lephalale. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has confirmed more than 1,000 workers who took part in a one-day strike at the Medupi Power Station this week have been fired.

The utility says contractors employing more than 3,000 workers who took part in the one day stay away have decided to take disciplinary action against the group.

The workers who've been fired had previously been issued with written warnings.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe said, "So far, it's over 1,000, but that number can go up depending on the charges against them. These things are adding up and the companies are beginning to take action."

Construction at Medupi was halted for two days when the workforce walked off site after their representatives were unable to resolve the dispute.

Workers were protesting transfers to hostel accommodation, allowances being cut and the refusal of Eskom to pay a bonus for Unit Six coming online.

On Thursday, workers were locked out of the area by the power utility, which says the stay-away was illegal.

Phasiwe says, "Today is business as usual, meaning that it's back to operations. However, it's also important to note that the information we have received from the contractors is that they have taken disciplinary action against some of the workers who participated in the illegal strike."