[Debate] (Fwd) Cosatu threatens national strike, Eskom shutdown
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Fri Sep 9 09:39:25 BST 2011
Cosatu threatens to bring SA to a halt
Vusi Xaba, Sowetan, 9 September 2011
WORKPLACE operations will grind to a halt on October 15 when
Cosatu holds a national strike to intensify its campaigns calling
for urgent government action on labour brokers, the Gauteng
e-tolling system and the acid water crisis.
The battle is on. We want to tackle these issues. The battle against
labour brokers is on. We want a total ban on labour brokers
The labour federation's general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, told
delegates at the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) national congress
in Johannesburg yesterday that Cosatu would not support any "political
agenda" that was not based on principles.
This is seen as a veiled threat to the ruling ANC as it prepares for the
2012 Mangaung elective conference.
"The battle is on," Vavi said. "We want to tackle these issues. The
battle against labour brokers is on. We want a total ban on labour brokers."
Vavi said Cosatu, backed by its two million members, would fight against
the tolling of roads in Gauteng.
"They say e-tolling is a model for the country. If we do not stop them
in Gauteng, they will be rolled throughout the country. The principle is
simple. We want efficient public transport that will free us from the
Vavi said the federation would also fight against the reported possible
scarcity of water by 2017.
He said underground water, contaminated by acid mine intoxicants, making
it unsafe to use, was caused by a reluctance to act against mining
bosses who made billions of rands from mining and neglected to
rehabilitate the mines after the operations.
Fawu finalised its four-day national congress yesterday.
The Fawu delegates' resolutions were expected to be announced today.
1.2 Eskom refers wage dispute to CCMAs
IOL, 9 September 2011
Eskom has referred a wage dispute for arbitration after negotiations
with trade unions reached a deadlock.
"The issuing of the certificate of non-resolution (the CCMA) does not
give any Eskom employee the right to embark on industrial action," Eskom
spokeswoman Hilary Joffe said in a statement on Thursday.
"Any strike by Eskom employees would be unprotected because of Eskom's
designation as an essential service."
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said over 16,000 Eskom workers
were preparing to strike when negotiations deadlocked during the first
dispute meeting at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and
Arbitration (CCMA) on Wednesday afternoon.
NUM wage negotiator Job Matsebe said unions were readying themselves for
a "serious confrontation" on the matter and would not accept any
"Our marches and pickets remain on track as a build-up for a more
NUM said it had rejected Eskom's offer of a two-year, seven percent wage
agreement. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and
Solidarity also rejected Eskom's offer. The unions have been in
negotiations with Eskom since April. They wanted a 13
percent wage increase.
Eskom human resource executive Bhabhalazi Bulunga said the parastatal
was implementing its final offer of a seven increase for the September
payroll. The increase would be backdated to July 1.
"Our concern is that our employees have not received an increase at all
this year. If we do not implement the increase in September, we will
have to wait until at least November, because of a system upgrade in
October. We are keen to see this dispute resolved as soon as possible."
NUM chief negotiator Paris Mashego said the union would not give up on
"We hope to win and put brakes on Eskom's watering down of benefits and
wages," he said. - Sapa
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