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Unprotected industrial action results in delays at Eskom

The entrance to Eskom's Medupi power station, outside Lephalale in Limpopo.  Picture: ARNOLD PRONTO The entrance to Eskom's Medupi power station, outside Lephalale in Limpopo. Picture: ARNOLD PRONTO (Image: www.bdlive.co.za)

The continued unprotected industrial action at Eskom’s Medupi power station has resulted in delays, said Eskom. “The continued unprotected industrial action is in its sixth week and has resulted in construction delays on the Medupi Power Station Project. However, work being carried out on Unit 6 has continued successfully,” said the utility.

Eskom said striking employees belonging to contractors on the Medupi project have not heeded the call to return to work since the unprotected industrial action that took place on 25 March. This is despite a court interdict and ultimata issued.

Eskom said organised labour was informed of the final ultimata issued to their members to return to work.

“Attempts by the contractors (employers) to get their employees to return to work has not yielded the desired outcome.  While some employees have responded to the ultimata, most have defied and ignored the court interdict as well as the ultimata,” said the power utility.

Violence and intimidation was experienced in the accommodation areas where these employees reside as well as en-route to the project site.  This has resulted in employees that want to return to work being prevented or intimidated from doing so.  The interventions by the Project and Contractor Security Teams, South African Police Service included, have managed to contain the situation but it remains tense.

Over the past long weekend, the contractors released their employees to go home.  These employees vacated the Eskom accommodation and have to await further instructions from their employer on when to return to work. The aim of this is to facilitate the execution of the contractors’ remobilisation plans.

“Eskom, the contractors and organised labour are working together to find a way forward to get employees back to work within the next two weeks,” it said. 

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