Numsa warns on blackouts

THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa says the country should brace itself for blackouts after thousands of workers rejected Eskom's new wage offer.

THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa says the country should brace itself for blackouts after thousands of workers rejected Eskom's new wage offer.

The union (Numsa), the National Union of Mineworkers and Solidarity are demanding a 15percent across-the-board increase and a R5000 housing allowance.

The unions have not ruled out the possibility of a strike and are threatening to do so if Eskom does not come up with a new offer.

Workers rejected Eskom's revised offer of 8percent and a once-off 1percent bonus to be paid next month.

Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said Eskom was not following the government's commitment to the creation of decent jobs.

"We have been blackmailed about the World Cup. Our problems are bigger than the World Cup. We did not bring the tournament here. The working class has not benefited," Ngobese said.

The unions met Eskom at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) late yesterday.

Solidarity general secretary Dirk Hermann said it was going to be a long night.

"The mediator has asked for another round with Eskom. We hope they come up with a better offer," Hermann said.

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