Unions demand a meeting with Eskom and ministers


JOHANNESBURG, July 11 – Unions at Eskom have demanded a meeting with board members, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene after the power utility tabled a new wage offer on Tuesday night.

The  National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a majority union at Eskom, said the wage talks were ”at a sensitive stage.”

“The wage negotiations are at a sensitive stage and the NUM, NUMSA, and Solidarity have requested a meeting with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, and the Eskom board. The proposed meeting is going to take place as soon as possible. The NUM believes that the proposed meeting will help the parties to resolve their differences amicably and sign an agreement.” the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s negotiations went on until late into the night, with Eskom upping their wage increase offer from 7 percent to 7.5.

The unions demanded 8 percent for 2018, an R500 housing allowance and a 12 percent bonus, or a three-year deal where 8 percent will be for the first year and 8.5 percent for the next two years. The housing allowance demand was rejected, with Eskom telling unions they will have to wait for the utility’s audited financial statements to be signed off before a bonus could be considered.

The unions have withdrawn their threats to embark on a strike as the possibility of a wage deal looms after weeks of stop-start negotiations.

– African News Agency (ANA)