Strike halts work at Coega power plant

INDUSTRIAL ACTION: Shop steward Dominic Gallant, seen here with some of the Dedisa Group Five employees who downed tools due to alleged unfair labour practices yesterday, displays a pay slip
INDUSTRIAL ACTION: Shop steward Dominic Gallant, seen here with some of the Dedisa Group Five employees who downed tools due to alleged unfair labour practices yesterday, displays a pay slip

Bay employees claim they are paid less than those from other provinces

WORK on the Dedisa peaking power plant at Coega ground to a halt yesterday when angry workers downed tools claiming unfair labour practices from the main site contractor, Group Five.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa)-affiliated mechanical site workers claim preferential treatment is given to workers from other provinces at the plant, while those from Nelson Mandela Bay are exploited.

They said Bay workers were not paid the same hourly rate as their counterparts from other provinces.

Bay electricians were paid R39.92 an hour while those from other provinces were paid R120, they claimed.

This week’s strike, which started on Tuesday, could delay what has been hailed as a possible solution to the rolling blackouts in the Bay as it will produce 342MW of electricity, half of the metro’s power demand. The R3.5-billion Dedisa power station is scheduled for completion by August.

Numsa claims that more than 1 000 workers are on strike.

Group Five human resources manager Waylon van Wyk said after meeting the workers yesterday the company had made an offer that would hopefully end the strike. He did not want to divulge details.

-Mkhululi Ndamase

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