Eskom has confirmed more than 1,000 workers who took part in a one-day strike at the Medupi Power Station this week have been fired.

On Wednesday, workers downed tools in a one-day stay-away which was called by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. The workers were voicing their frustration around accommodation and bonuses

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said many of the workers are not employed by the utility, but rather by Eskom contractors.

“The contractors decided to implement disciplinary measures which include the firing of their workers,” he said.

Phasiwe said over 3,000 workers had participated in Wednesday’s illegal strike. He said workers that have been fired had received prior written warnings before.

Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe said, “So far, it’s over 1,000, but that number can go up depending on the charges against them. These things are adding up and the companies are beginning to take action.”

Construction at Medupi was halted for two days when the workforce walked off site after their representatives were unable to resolve the dispute.

Workers were protesting transfers to hostel accommodation, allowances being cut and the refusal of Eskom to pay a bonus for Unit Six coming online. 

On Thursday, workers were locked out of the area by the power utility, which says the stay-away was illegal.

 Meanwhile, operations at Medupi are carrying on as normal.

“Workers who did not participate in the strike are at work,” Phasiwe said.

Extracts taken from EWN