Fin24

Cosatu strike won't hit Eskom, Transnet

2012-03-06 10:34

Cape Town - The countrywide strike on Wednesday will not affect electricity and train services, Eskom and Transnet said on Tuesday.

Tade union federation Cosatu is embarking on a massive nationwide strike, which includes 34 marches. It is being supported by several other unions.

Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said the majority of Eskom’s workers do not belong to Cosatu-affiliated unions and electricity is an essential service, therefore disallowing its staff from striking.

“The National Union of Mineworkers (Num) is probably the largest trade union representing Eskom workers, followed by National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and Solidarity,” said Joffe.

Both Num and Numsa are Cosatu affiliates.

“Eskom employees, however, are not permitted to participate in Wednesday’s planned protest action/stayaway because electricity is designated as an essential service,” Joffe said.

In terms of Section 77(1) of the Labour Relations Act (the section under which the protest is being held), only employees who are not engaged in an essential service or a maintenance service have the right to participate in protest action.

Mboniso Sigonyela, Transnet spokesperson, said about 45% of Transnet workers belong to unions affiliated to Cosatu.

“We have mitigation measures in place to address any disruptions caused by the strike,” Sigonyela said.