South Africa: Workers Union to protest Eskom unbundling

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) announced on Tuesday that it would march on the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) Luthuli House head office, in Johannesburg, on March 30 to voice its opposition to the unbundling of Eskom.

It would also use the protest action to call for the resignation of the Eskom board and the cancellation of power purchase agreements with independent power producers.

The NUM also reiterated its earlier threat of a “total shutdown” from Friday May 3 leading up to the national elections, scheduled for Wednesday May 8.

The decision to march on the ANC – which is in a formal alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions, to which the NUM is affiliated – was taken during a special meeting of the energy national shop stewards council, held in Midrand on Tuesday.

The union, which has 15 000 Eskom members and 3 000 more at Eskom Rotek Industries, warned in February the unilateral decision to restructure the power utility could trigger a withdrawal of its support for the ANC in the upcoming election.

The shop-steward council expressed anger at the ANC inability, to date, to outline what the proposed unbundling of Eskom into separate generation, transmission and distribution companies would mean for Eskom workers and job security.

“So far, there is no guarantee or a solid commitment that signal there would not be retrenchments during the unbundling process. It is widely believed that the move will result in many job losses,” the NUM said in a statement.

The union also lambasted the Eskom board for failing to develop a turnaround strategy for the company.source: Creamer MEDIA

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