NUM: Eskom should put pressure on its coal supplier

The union says it’s up to Eskom to act & settle a strike over wages in the coal sector.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members march to AngloCoal in Witbank to hand over a memorandum in support of their demand for a R1,000 increase for their lowest paid workers. Picture: @NUM_Media.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it's up to Eskom to put pressure on its coal suppliers to settle a strike over wages as thousands of workers plan to march in Emalahleni today.

NUM members will march to different colliers to hand over a memorandum in support of their demand for a R1,000 increase for their lowest paid workers.

Companies including Anglo Coal, Glencore, Exxaro and Delmas Colliers have offered a salary hike of up to R600.

Thirty thousand workers from different unions, including the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, are currently on strike.

The NUM lead negotiator in the coal sector Peter Bailey says it's up to Eskom to act.

"We are not in dispute with Eskom, we are in dispute with the coal sector in the mining industry. They are the suppliers of Eskom and Eskom needs to ask them what they are doing to resolve the strike. I'm sure they are looking for a revised mandate from the constituency."

According to the Chamber of Mines, coal mining in South Africa produces enough coal to account for 94 percent of its energy production.

South Africa is one of the world's top five coal exporters and the industry directly employs close to 90,000 people, and paid almost R19 billion in wages in 2014.