22 January 2013

South Africa: Numsa Statement On the Latest Developments At Medupi Power Plant

Photo: Saragoldsmith/Flickr
Power lines

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) condemns the spurious lies being spread to the public pertaining to the real reasons which have led to the closure of the Medupi Power Station, in Lephalale, Limpopo province. These lies are reminiscent of the Nazi propaganda under Josef Goebbels.

The purported claims that workers as led by Numsa are being used to sabotage the long-overdue completion of Medupi Power Station are totally untrue and we view them as an odorous attack on the leadership collective of this glorious metal workers union.

The truth is that a significant number of workers had their bonuses and salaries docked during the December 2012 holiday’s period. The workers were not certain whether this was done deliberately or otherwise. But this matter was raised internally by workers with Medupi authorities in order for Medupi to address the complaints and resolve them amicably. Instead of the matter being addressed, workers have endured all manner of victimisation, including a lock-out, which has led to this ongoing strike and violent unrest at the power station over the past four days.

Workers are within their right to demand monies which were deducted wrongfully from their remunerations given the socio economic hardships faced by their family members and siblings. The arrogance as displayed by the authorities at Medupi in resolving this matter is not helpful. We will not be surprised if this move by the authorities is part of their ill-conceived strategy of profit maximization by stealing from workers’ salaries and bonuses.

The union leadership has since held talks with Eskom in order to find a solution on this matter in the interest of workers. A joint task team working with independent auditors are busy verifying all the necessary information in order to ascertain why huge monies were docked from workers’ bonuses and salaries. The findings of the team will be presented to all parties, particularly to the aggrieved workers.

A detailed action plan to correct these dodgy deductions will be presented and be subjected to a democratic process for approval.

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