Eskom’s act of provocation will get an equal response – COSATU

Federation says govt is reaping the reward of its failed policies and lax governance

Eskom’s arrogant act of provocation will get an appropriate and equal response from the workers

7 June 2018

The Congress of South African Trade Unions fully supports the decision by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to mobilise and push against Eskom’s arrogance and intransigence. The condescending manner that Eskom is handling this year’s wage negotiations is a sign that there is a concerted effort to force the workers to pick up the tap of corruption, looting and the mismanagement of the State Owned Entities.

It is government’s abandonment of the people driven and people centred approach to development that has led us to this economic morass. Workers are not responsible for this mess and they should refuse to pay for the sins of others.  We want to reiterate that this arrogant act of provocation by Eskom will get an appropriate and equal response from the workers.

There is not a single crook that has been arrested for the looting at Eskom and yet the Board and the management have the audacity to deny workers salary increases.Eskom’s leadership and government need to be held accountable for what has happened to the power utility over last ten years. Workers have been continuously fleeced by the same utility through above inflation tariff hikes and then they have the cheek to deny workers salary adjustments. 

Government is reaping the rewards of its failed policies and lax governance methods of its SOE’s. The rising cost of living, inequality, unemployment and poverty have not been invented and are not being reproduced by workers and trade unions. Inequality, unemployment and poverty are the necessary conditions and products for the existence of the capitalist system of exploitation. The South African government has made its choices despite numerous warnings from workers and now that the chickens have come home to roost, they are trying to apportion the blame to the innocent workers.

The fortunes of the rich and the super-rich have soared, while social inequality has reached unprecedented levels as a result of the vast appropriation of wealth from the bottom to the top. Far from resolving the contradictions that have manifested themselves, the South African capitalism has exacerbated the problem of poverty and inequality.

We will spare no effort to stop this tyranny and ill placed overconfidence by the neo liberal hard liners in government and their Eskom lieutenants, who are trying to punish the workers.

COSATU is calling on all its affiliates and other workers in general to support the NUM and other unions at Eskom as they are pushing back against this blatant act of provocation and dare. If we do not support each other on the picket lines , we will join each other on the unemployment line.

Issued by Sizwe, Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 7 June 2018