S.African Power Plant Workers Embark On Illegal Strike

S.African power plant workers embark on illegal strike

JOHANNESBURG, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 10th August, 2016) - Thousands of workers at South Africa's state-owned power utility Eskom on Wednesday embarked on a strike over wage negotiations, defying a court order against the stoppage, a union said. About 15,000 workers in power stations across the country were said to be participating in the strike. "The employer obtained an interdict against the strike late last night, but our members decided to go ahead with the stoppage," said Livhuwani Mammburu, the spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

"They believe their demands are valid," he said. The union is demanding a 10 percent increase for the lowest paid workers, 8.5 percent for the highest earners and a housing allowance worth 3,000 rand ($226). Eskom is offering a hike of between seven to nine percent. The union accuses the utility of structuring wages according to race, with white employees said to be paid more than their black colleagues. "The NUM members are very disturbed and angry with the attitude of Eskom in refusing to close the apartheid wage gap," said a statement.