NUMSA threatens ‘mother of all strikes’ against Eskom plan to shut down coal power plants

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NUMSA threatens ‘mother of all strikes’ against Eskom plan to shut down coal power plants

TMG Digital | 2017-03-17 07:54:14.0

NUMSA was not against a progressive energy mix‚ he said‚ but was not prepared to sacrifice jobs.
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Image by: The Times / Moeletsi Mabe
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The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is gearing up for the “mother of all strikes” in protest against plans by Eskom to shut down coal power plants in Mpumalanga.

Eskom plans to close the plants to make way for Independent Power Producers and has said that 30‚000 jobs would be affected.

“As NUMSA‚ we cannot simply sit back and allow Eskom‚ and this government to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of workers and their families‚” said general secretary Irvin Jim‚ in a statement on Friday.

“In an environment where there are high levels of poverty and escalating unemployment‚ we believe that every job counts.”

Jim said the union suspected that the closure of the power stations was a “calculated move to privatise Eskom” and create conditions for a new nuclear programme in South Africa.

NUMSA was not against a progressive energy mix‚ he said‚ but was not prepared to sacrifice jobs.

Jim said the union would mobilise across all sectors for a national shutdown.

“We will bring this economy to its knees. We will mobilise communities to hold demonstrations and pickets because this crisis affects them too‚” he said.

The union represents 350‚000 workers across numerous sectors‚ including mining‚ transportation and energy.



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