Sat, 31 Oct 2020

Strike at Eskom unit kicks off on Tuesday

29 Sep 2020, 04:10 GMT+10

Eskom confirmed on Monday that it is aware that workers at Eskom Rotek Industries will start protesting against the use of labour brokers at the division from Tuesday morning.

At issue, one protest organiser said, was the decision to remove businesses that served as labour brokers. Rotek Industries is an energy maintenance support division at Eskom, which specialises in bulk material, construction, logistics, turbo generation as well as transformer and switchgear services.

Protest organiser and convenor of the Economic Freedom Fighters Ground Force in the Nkangala region Timothy Kgokong said the newly appointed labour brokers have not paid full employee salaries.

"Those people at Rotek have labour brokers, while they are a division of Eskom. These people have for three months not received payments. Salaries have deteriorated. The old labour brokers were removed, and the new ones are not paying workers," Kgokong said.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said Eskom leadership was aware of the planned protests at Eskom Rotek, saying the grievances underscoring the protest were the subject of investigations at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

"Eskom is aware of the planned protest action and we have put measures in place to minimise any impediments to production and the matters which the protestors who are mostly contractors and temporary employees at Rotek are before the CCMA where Eskom is working towards a resolution," said Mantshantsha.

Kgokong said while workers at Eskom Rotek Industries know Eskom is beset with financial troubles, the power utility owed it to workers to either appoint companies that can do this job properly or put labour broking to an end altogether.

"I'm one of those who agree to go through the CCMA. This matter is not a matter of yesterday. We asked for this to be investigated and cases have not been traced. Unions and other workers movement raised concerns to Rotek who referred it to the CCMA and we can't wait any longer," said Kgokong.

While the National Union of Mineworkers could not be reached for comment, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa said they are not involved in the protest and Kgokong said the protest was not organised or affiliated with any union.

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