Eskom granted court interdict against ‘unlawful’ strike

Johannesburg- After a day of protests and load shedding across parts of the country, Eskom has obtained a urgent court interdict barring three major unions from striking.

The Labour Court granted Eskom the interdict on Thursday, it declared any industrial action, picket or gathering undertaken after June 11 is “unprotected and unlawful” according to the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

Under the LRA majority of workers at the state-owned entity (SOE) fall under the category of essential services and are barred from striking.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) and Solidary have also banned from “encouraging and inciting” their members to further participate in the industrial action.

Fin24 is reporting after seeing the court order, workers at Eskom are not allowed from blocking entrances, tripping the power supply, hijacking coal trucks, interfering with the coal supply and intimidating other employees who have chosen not to strike and including contractors.

Early on Thursday Eskom announced that the electricity system was under constraints because coal trucks were blocked at the entrances of power stations.

Later into Thursday evening, the power utility announced it would implement stage one of load shedding due to reduced capacity and with that announcement municipalities started cutting off areas to lower the strain on the system.

In Megawatt Park, Eskom’s headquarters in Sunninghill, union’s announced they will continue with rolling pickets and demonstrations, before embarking on a full-blown strike.

The NUM and Numsa are demanding 15% wage hikes, with Eskom initially offering 0% increases, citing financial constraints.

Photo Credit- eNCA

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