DISGRUNTLED Eskom workers have vowed to plunge the country into darkness if their wage demands are not met by the electricity parastatal.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA said yesterday its members might adopt "radical measures" that will have "far-reaching" implications.

This followed what the union called "protracted wage and conditions of employment negotiations with Eskom management over the past couple of months".

Numsa said the measures might include the unleashing of a black-out "if need be". It said that it did not want to reach this point, "though Eskom is pushing us".

The union has demanded an increase of 14percent for Eskom workers. The parastatal had initially offered an increase of 8 percent but has moved its offer to 9,5 percent through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration mediators.

Numsa said it "believes Eskom has a moral responsibility to concede and adhere to the demands of workers".

"The failure by Eskom to adhere to these demands will leave the workers with no option but to adopt radical measures. This might include pulling the plug and unleashing a blackout," the union said.

The National Union of Mineworkers, which also represents workers at Eskom, is to hold a national shop steward council meeting to discuss the latest Eskom offer today.

The NUM is also demanding a 14percent increase.

Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu confirmed that the parastatal and Numsa were in talks at the CCMA.

"There were talks on July 28 and 29 and we are going back to the CCMA [tomorrow]," Zulu said.

He said both the union and Eskom had "moved" when it came to wage agreements.

"Eskom has gone beyond the eight percent," he said.