NUM: 'Optimum Coal workers will not return to work until salaries paid'

It’s understood the Optimum employees have not been paid their November salaries which were due last week, and the contract workers are now two months behind.

FILE: Protesters at the Optimum coal mine entrance in Mpumalanga. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says its members at the Optimum Coal mine are not willing to return to work until their salaries for October and November are paid.

The union says over 1,000 workers - some directly employed by Optimum and others working for a contractor - have been protesting outside the Mpumalanga mine on Monday.

It’s understood the Optimum employees have not been paid their November salaries which were due last week, and the contract workers are now two months behind.

The NUM's Nelson Ratshoshi said: “Based on the situation that they are in, in relation to the amount they are owed by Eskom, they are advocating to pay those employees their salaries by Friday.”

Optimum is one of Eskom's coal suppliers but has not been in production since February when it was placed under business rescue.

Eskom says while the stay away is concerning, it won't affect the grid.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)