Labour Court has erred and undermined Workers Rights to Bargain at ESKOM, says NUMSA…
19 September 2011
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) notes the Labour Court judgment to dismiss the application we had brought jointly with our sister union and ally National Union of Metalworkers (NUM) pertaining to the unilateral decision by state utility power and monopoly ESKOM to effectively implement the 7% wage increases given the aborted and failed wage negotiations.
We strongly believe that the Judge has errored and undermined workers rights to collective bargain and a right to strike as promulgated by our nascent democratic government. Furthermore the judgment is an affront attack on the trade union movement broadly.
This judgment has proven our ideological correctness and views that in a Capitalist or bourgeois society, like South Africa, the judiciary will act and serve the best interest of the ruling class.
Therefore this judgment serves to negate or erode workers power to effectively bargain for decent wages for its members at the point of production, in order to protect the interest of monopoly industries or capital that relies on electricity to maximize profits as supplied by ESKOM through the sweat and hard labour of these workers not to be disrupted or halted by workers.
As NUMSA we will soberly study the merits and demerits of the judgment in order to make an informed response. We will in the meantime engage our sister unions NUM and SOLIDARITY to jointly mount a series of actions targeting ESKOM to concede to our demands.
However, we are alarmed by the loud silence of the Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba over this ongoing impasse between workers and ESKOM. The Ministry should be decisively intervening in the interest of workers and the country at large.
We reaffirm our position that unity of NUMSA, NUM and SOLIDARITY is paramount in order to defeat the cowboy tactics of ESKOM to impose wage increases to our members respectively.
We reiterate our demands;
· A 13% wage increment across the board;
· A six(6) months paid maternity leave;
· A prohibition and banning of labour brokers, and permanent employment of all workers employed through labour brokers; and
· A Housing Allowance increment by R2500-00
We call on ESKOM to play an exemplary and activist role in closing the huge existing income disparities between