Unions slam Eskom for “wasting time” in wage negotiations


JOHANNESBURG, June 22 (ANA) – Workers unions involved in wage negotiations with Eskom said on Thursday, that they were disappointed with the power utility for not yielding to their demands, saying that Eskom was wasting their time in the crucial wage talks.

In a joint statement, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), and Solidarity said that it was disheartening to find themselves faced with exactly the same predicament in which the power utility did not send a powered delegation to negotiate.

“It is unacceptable that when the entire nation is waiting with bated breath for an outcome on these wage talks, Eskom continues to play games with the process,” the joint statement read.

“The reason we deadlocked in the first round of wage talks two weeks ago, was precisely because the Eskom management was unable to take decisions on its own without consulting the board. Unions have resolved to allow Eskom to go back to consult with the board. However, our patience is wearing thin.”

The unions said that they now demand that Eskom sends a powered delegation for the next meeting which is set down for next week Wednesday to Friday.

Earlier in the day, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim confirmed that the unions had reduced their wage demand from 10 percent to nine percent for 2018, plus 8.6 percent and 8.5 percent for the following two years. Workers also want a R1,000 housing allowance in 2018 and performance bonuses for 2017-18.

Eskom was not immediately available to comment on the latest updates coming from the wage negotiations.