Strike at Coega power plant brought to close

A TWO-DAY strike at Coega’s Dedisa power plant has been ended with the signing of an agreement.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) affiliated workers downed tools on Tuesday and Wednesday, alleging that the main site contractor, Group Five, was paying workers from other provinces better than those from Mandela Bay.

Numsa had complained that local electricians were paid R39.92 per hour while those from other provinces were paid R120.

At a meeting on Thursday it was explained to workers that the reason for the difference in rate per hour was because of job levels.

The R3.5-billion plant will produce 342MW of electricity, half of the metro’s power demand. It is expected to be completed by August to assist with reducing load-shedding in the Bay.

Yesterday, Numsa shop steward Sibusiso Matyolo said they had agreed to return to work after the hourly rates were adjusted. “The company explained to us that when the people were employed, it was made clear that the positions that were available were for assistants and for semiskilled positions.

“But we did not know that,” Matyolo said.

Group Five human resources executive director Jesse Doorasamy said all the workers’ grievances had been “adequately resolved” but failed to give details.

“In addition, the company has forums available on site where these issues can be constructively addressed and we will continue to use these forums to address employee concerns going forward.

“Having resolved all the matters amicably the company wishes to reiterate its commitment to the community from where its employees are drawn and we look forward to the successful completion of the project to the benefit of our clients, employees and the community around the site,” he said.

The agreement would also see the company offering basic training in various fields, Matyolo said.

-Mkhululi Ndamase

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