• Caught in the debt trap?

    Help us help you by taking our second annual Debt survey and you could win R3 000.

  • Rich man, poor man

    Culture change from below is the only way to overcome poverty, says Leopold Scholtz.

  • Tech bubble talk

    After the tech euphoria of 2013, the fast-moving sector has hit a speed bump.

Data provided by McGregor BFA
All data is delayed
See More

Mass strike to hit Eskom

Sep 08 2011 07:45 Reuters

Related Articles

Solidarity, Eskom meet over pay dispute

Num threatens Eskom with strike

Numsa rejects Eskom wage offer

Eskom wage hike 'a declaration of war'

Eskom's 'overcooked' tariffs slated

Eskom boss not ashamed of bonus


Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said on Thursday that wage talks with state-run power utility Eskom had failed and that it was preparing to strike.

If a strike takes place and Eskom fails to keep the lights on, it could have a crippling impact on the world's largest platinum producer and hobble a fragile economic recovery.

"The talks have collapsed, we are now preparing to go on strike," said Num spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

The Num said it was demanding a 13% wage hike while Eskom, which supplies virtually all of the country's power, is offering 7%. Inflation is currently running at 5.3% and wage settlements usually exceed this level by a wide margin.

The official mediator, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), issued what is called a certificate of non-resolution on Wednesday night to the Num and two other unions in the Eskom talks. This is a necessary step toward legal strike action in South Africa.

The Num said in a statement that the CCMA had suggested arbitration as the next step, but the union does not want to take this route.

"We don't want to go to arbitration, that drags things out ... it is up to us to go on strike now," Seshoka said.

Eskom has maintained in the past that any strike against it would be illegal because it provides an essential service.

Unions have been angered by what they say was an attempt by Eskom to unilaterally impose the 7% hike.

But Eskom maintains that if the increases were not implemented in the September payroll, workers would have to wait until November to get any raise because of an upgrade to the system which will take place in October.

The Num, with about 16 000 members at Eskom, is the biggest of the three unions bargaining with the utility.

Eskom is already battling with tight supplies and wants to keep a lid on its own costs as it hikes rates and seeks to build new plants to avoid looming power crunches.

Strike illegal

Eskom said that its employees could not legally strike.

"Any strike by Eskom employees would be illegal because Eskom is an essential service," Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters.

num  |  eskom  |  wage disputes  |  strikes


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

We're Talking About: Small Business

Standard Bank is looking for 12 entrepreneurs to participate in a 10-part TV series. They could win a R1m investment into their dream.

Fewer high-risk election areas - Mthethwa

There are fewer high-risk election areas this year compared to past elections, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has said while visiting Manenberg in Cape Town.


Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...