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Numsa AND Alliance Partners Memorandum OF Demands To Eskom

19 October 2012, Posted in Campaigns, Gallery

NUMSA AND ALLIANCE PARTNERS MEMORANDUM OF DEMANDS TO ESKOM

HANDED ON THE 19TH OCTOBER 2012
IN
LEPHALALE

DATE     : 19TH OCTOBER 2012
FROM    : NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA (NUMSA)
TO        : ESKOM HOLDINGS LTD
RE       : APPALLING WORKING CONDITIONS & DETERIORATING WORKING
CONDITIONS WITHIN THE MEDUPI PROJECT

GRIEVANCES

1. We have noted a sharp increase in the number of unprotected industrial actions over the past two years, in both the civil construction and metal construction of the project.

2. Medupi Contractors continually exploit workers, in particular workers from the magisterial district of Lephalale by employing them as general workers with no prospects of training and development, thus culminating in vulnerability during the demobilization process, leaving them no better off than befire the project.

3. Medupi Contractors continue to sow divisions between workers on basis of regionalism and provincialism reminiscent to the apartheid era style tactics of fueling tribalism and ethnicity amongst workers.

4. Medupi Contractors, through the repressive Project Labour Agreement (PLA) which Numsa has pulled out of, continue to entrench a downward variation exercise on industry provisions contained in the MEIBC agreement, thus subjecting workers to longer hours without compliance to exemptions procedures laid within our Industry agreement.

5. Workers continue to earn poverty wages, in particular general labourers are paid a meagre wages of R16-00 –R17-00 per hour culminating in their relegation to extreme shadows of impoverishment and inevitably brewing labour unrest in the project.

6. The Medupi Project, under the captaincy of the Murray & Roberts-led cartel, condones nepotism and racism of the highest order as currently only whites and immediate relatives of the cartel bosses occupy senior positions across various contractors on site, equally previously disadvantaged people are reduced to the lower order of the project value chain system which defeats the spirit of transformation in totality.

7. Workers are forever intimidated in their daily routines due to the presence of the rented Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mercenaries and former rebels of the Congolese war that are on site disguising as security personnel, whom continues to instill fear in our members, both on site and at their hostels as they illegally search rooms while workers are at work.

8. There is no formal training and skills development policy and programmes for workers in the project. and no recognition of prior learning. This gives workers little opportunity to gain or have proof of skills when seeking future employment after the demobilization process. General workers are the most affected by the lack of these programmes. .

9. There is wide spread project wage rate discrepancies and wage disparities across metal construction contractors on site , which only serve to divide workers and is a recipe for wild cat strikes and other related forms of labour unrest.

10. Contractors utilizes services of labour brokers who fail to pay workers on time and also directly contravening relevant industry agreements, for example the Rebar-JV package, were workers had to embark on an unprotected industrial action to get paid.

11. Owing to the high concentration of workers within the Lephalale territory, we are witnessing the re-introduction of the compound system, akin to conditions during the eighteenth century discoveries of both gold and diamonds, as black workers are accommodated in crowded hostels, whilst their white counterparts live in houses or posh lodges and hotels in town.

12. Numsa believes that ESKOM and the Medupi contractors must be responsibly for the high level of alcoholism in the workforce as workers have no recreational facilities.

This is also affecting the social fabric of surrounding communities bringing along social ills, usually associated with mine sites.

13. Numsa further notes workers from the outlying villages also experience similar challenges owing to long hours of work and long travel to and from work, resulting in unbearable fatigue.

IN LIGHT OF THESE DEVELOPMENTS NUMSA DEMANDS THE FOLLOWING:

Since the PLA is the source of the deteriorating state of industrial relations on site, we demand immediate intervention of Eskom to stabilize the sub-human conditions prevalent on and off site, regarding working and living conditions as well as transport.

1. ESKOM must compel Medupi Contractors to roll out worker training and skills development programmes as promised during the bidding process of the project.

2. We demand the complete eradication of the poverty rates given to workers across different industries so that workers are paid their deserved living wage.

3. ESKOM must disband the racist and untransformed Medupi Execution Team (MET) and establish a union inclusive monitoring structure, which will enable labour integration and participation on site operational matters.

4. ESKOM must compel and monitor compliance of Medupi contractors with due regard to their corporate social responsibilities to Lephalale villages, committed to during the initial bidding process of the power station.

5. ESKOM must immediately terminate the contract of the Vetus Schola security company which employs Congolese mercenaries to traumatize and intimidate workers and establish meaningful safety and security for workers.

6. ESKOM must build recreational facilities in order to address alcoholism and other social ills associated with mining towns and further endeavour establishing relevant structures to ensure materialization of recreational programmes for workers and economic opportunities especially for women in the surrounding communities, to address high levels of prostitution.

7. We further demand building of equipped medical facilities on site to enable workers to undergo regular check-ups on a variety of illnesses and not limited to chronic illnesses.
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NUMSA NOB’S NUMSA ROB’S NUMSA LOB’S

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COSATU LOB’S

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RECEIVED ON BEHALF OF ESKOM BY: