SOUTH AFRICAN POWER UTILITY ESKJOM OBTAINS COURT ORDER PREVENTING STRIKE

South African power utility Eskom says it has obtained a court order prohibiting employees belonging to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) from embarking on a strike.

“We obtained the interdict last night and it essentially prohibits unions from going on strike,” Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said Wednesday.

This development came as workers belonging to NUM, which is the biggest labour union at the utility, were reported to go on an illegal strike from Wednesday over unresolved wage negotiations.

“There’s no reason or need to panic, operations at Eskom will continue,” said Phasiwe.

The union was originally demanding a 13 per cent wage increase, which has to date been revised to 10 per cent. Eskom, meanwhile, is presenting an increase of between 7.0 and 9.0 per cent.

“Despite the court interdict, the Labour Relations Act prohibits people who work for companies like Eskom, from going on strike,” added Phasiwe.

Of its 47,000 total staff complement, 15,000 of Eskom’s workers are affiliated to the NUM. The other unions recognized at the power utility are the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity.

Eskom was due to meet with the union later Wednesday to try and resolve the impasse. In June, Eskom announced that it had presented a 7.0 per cent salary increase across the board for its employees. Wage negotiations with the unions commenced in May 2016.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK