Eskom workers want 16% wage hike

2011-04-19 06:40

Johannesburg - Eskom’s biggest trade union wants a 16% wage increase this year.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) represents some 11 000 Eskom workers and will present Eskom with its list of demands for this year’s negotiations on Tuesday.

The union also demands that the utility in future agrees to sign a minimum service-level agreement.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said this agreement would, for instance, make it possible in future for non-essential Eskom employees to strike.

Employees are currently restricted because Eskom provides a strategic service, he said.

NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said the union was also concerned about the enormous differences between the salaries of management and union members.

He said the average total cost of hiring a member of Eskom’s management compared to that for an ordinary worker was 85:1. This was totally unacceptable.

Eskom’s other trade unions are Solidarity and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said the minimum service-level agreement is now a priority and his union, which represents almost 6 000 Eskom workers, demands a 20% wage increase.

He said Eskom has until June 30 to agree to Numsa’s demands. The union does not want to strike, but will if that is the last option.

Jim said the demand is not linked to inflation but covers a number of issues.

The unions warn that a protracted strike will have catastrophic consequences for the country.

Leshoka said that, unlike in the past, NUM will not simply consent to Eskom’s counter-offers this year.

Last year Eskom had dragged its feet and only averted a strike a day before the World Cup soccer tournament, he said. This year there is no such event and if Eskom again refuses to yield to union demands, South Africans will experience a very long winter, he warned.

Last year Eskom’s unions received a 9% increase, as well as a R1 500 housing subsidy.

Sake24 has received a copy of NUM’s demands. These include:

- An electricity allowance of R700 a month for all workers.
- Six months’ maternity leave for women and 14 days for men.
- Union involvement in all appointments, no matter how senior the position.
- A housing allowance of R3 000 a month.
- Eskom’s share-option scheme for executives must be suspended and reviewed so that ordinary workers can also benefit from it.

Eskom chief executive Brian Dames declined to comment on the impending wage negotiations.

He said the utility could not comment before it had examined the unions’ demands, which had not yet been seen.

Strikes could further squeeze Eskom’s already extremely tight network.

Eskom has warned that load-shedding is a possibility if South Africans do not save electricity and also said that optimal utilisation of Eskom’s system is essential this winter. This will be difficult to achieve in the case of a strike.

The average Eskom employee earns around R36 000 a month, and almost 37 000 people work for the group.

- Sake24

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  • Marius - 2011-04-19 06:56

    And we have to pay for this with a nice 25% power increase. Look at those average salaries, and they still demand a 16% increase. I just wish I lived on the same planet, would be so nice.

  • EvoFatLord - 2011-04-19 07:26

    "The average Eskom employee earns around R36 000 a month, and almost 37 000 people work for the group. " What are these unions smoking....not to mention Eskom. No wonder we as the consumer have to pay so much for electricity. Eskom is one of the biggest contributors of job losses and the loss of investments. Those salaries.....................This whole story is so ridiculous ones should actual refrain from commenting...Eskom is a plain and simple liability for the economy

      KissTheBoer - 2011-04-21 09:18

      I work for eskom at the senior position, I'm earning half of the figure you just mention. stop misleading the public.

  • Lebzaton - 2011-04-19 07:38

    where do these people come from? I had to settle for 6% this year which is more that fare given the inflation. R700 subsidy for electricity when I have to fork out more than R2000 a month. 16% on top of an average of R37 000 avg, R 3000 for housing when I'm paying my own bond. these unions they are out of their minds. This economy needs to have other players in the sector as a matter of agency. These people are holding us to ransom bloody scavengers. Greed in its purest form.

  • jent16 - 2011-04-19 07:43

    I would like to work for Eskom if the average employee earns R36000 a month. With all the additional possibble benefits as stated in the Unions demands. It will be a holiday, because you do not see an improvement in service delivery. You do see excessive price increase. This will definitley squeeze the SA economy further.

  • Agent - 2011-04-19 07:44

    So maybe if the fat cats in Eskom cut their pay it can be done, but what on earth are these people smoking?

  • Joy - 2011-04-19 07:55

    16% - my foot !

  • Ockert - 2011-04-19 07:56

    The posibility of a CEO (Woman) working 27months and having 18months maternity leave is possible!, so actual work done could calculate to 9 months with 18months off. The average salary is R36,000 per MONTH, there must be guys earning extremely large salaries ?

  • Truth_seeker - 2011-04-19 07:59

    voetsak!!!!!!!!!..........are all eskom staff members of parliament,what do they think where does the money come from???

  • Eben - 2011-04-19 07:59

    Can I get a job please? I earn not even half of that and I will be happy with a 5% increase

  • bill - 2011-04-19 08:09

    Stuff up and demand 16% ? How about burying them in a shallow grave

  • WiseOwl2 - 2011-04-19 08:14

    EissssH here comes elections and watch everyone is on the increase bandwagon.

  • Rikhogrande - 2011-04-19 08:14

    News 24 should seriously proof read their articles, I find it rather appalling that there are question marks everywhere as well as incorrect statements. Firstly Eskom is a power utility, being a power utility it means that most of its personnel are artisans, fitters and other maintenance personnel. Now who in their right mind would pay an artisan R36 000 per month? If these artisans were payed that much none of them would complain as that is three times the uper limit of an artisans grade. So please news24 proof read and check your articles.

  • PDP - 2011-04-19 08:15

     The average Eskom employee earns around R36 000 a month? There are Engineers working for Eskom for 20 years that don't even earn half of that. Don't instigate, rather get your fact correct before reporting.

  • Lionel - 2011-04-19 08:19

    According to Mike Schussler, the average yearly salary last year at Eskom, was R500,000. Naturally the big boys earnings at the top are contributing to this enormous average.

  • MOTEK-XX - 2011-04-19 08:24

    R36 000 a month? is that a typo? I just love the demands these guys have, really realistic. Just like the Pikitup crew, striking for increased remuneration will become an annual event. Its a vicious circle leading to ever increasing and unsustainable economic conditions. When will these fools learn?

  • Krush - 2011-04-19 08:25

    The average Eskom worker earns R36000 a month? WHAT? IS THIS A MISTAKE? AND THEY ARE STRIKING? WTF?!?!

  • Francois Bester - 2011-04-19 08:30

    They're mad ! They just got a 9% last year and earn on average R36 000 This is the typical mentality that they can strike and hold off, just beacause they can. And they know they work in an important sector so it boiles down to blackmailing. If this goes through, expect a [minimum] 40% increase on your electricity bill each month.

  • Truth_seeker - 2011-04-19 08:31

    And who pays for there demands while we in the private sector do not even get a 5% increase ,but have to pay double digit increases for services .

  • PikeLee - 2011-04-19 08:32

    "Eskom employee earns around R36 000 a month" wow, and we thought our money was going to "new infrastructure" seems as if the majority of it goes into their pockets. No wonder we have an electricity crises. No money left to provide the service!

  • BunduBabe - 2011-04-19 08:34

    Are you insane??? The unions held the country hostage last year by declaring strike action prior to the world cup and got a 9% increase despite inflation running at 4%. Now they want 16%?? Who do they think they are? Bite me Numsa!

  • PikeLee - 2011-04-19 08:37

    "Eskom employee earns around R36 000 a month" wow, and we thought our money was going to "new infrastructure" seems as if the majority of it goes into their pockets. No wonder we have an electricity crises. No money left to provide the service!

  • Wanda - 2011-04-19 08:43

    I am at loss, we will be freezing this winter because of the high cost of electricity and yet, and I quote "average employee earns R36000.00 a month"....and they are demanding 16% increase, R3000.00 housing allowance plus plus, we will be lucky if we get 3% increase, what with cost of food, petrol etc are we supposed to survive.JHB has a rat infestation, because of striking workers, if Eskom's demands ane not met, are they going to cut off our Electricity..........god help us in this sad sad place we all call home.!!!!

  • Mike - 2011-04-19 08:43

    Reading this sort of thing leaves one speechless!

  • PDP - 2011-04-19 08:46

    The average Eskom employee earns around R36 000 a month? There are Engineers working for Eskom for 20 years that don't even earn half of that. Don't instigate, rather get your fact correct before reporting. Or rather investigate the 85:1 salary ratio between their managers & normal employees.

  • Advisor99 - 2011-04-19 08:47

    "The average Eskom employee earns around R36 000 a month" - Either this is a serious typo or i am closing my business, firing my staff and getting a job at the Eskom holiday farm. Think i'll also have another 10 children so i can get another 140 days maternity leave. Come on voters, we need to draw a line in the sand and say "NO MORE" !!!!!

  • Mike - 2011-04-19 08:48


  • Robbie G - 2011-04-19 08:55

    Please confirm that the average salary is as stated at R36000.00 per month????Surely this should read "annually"? If this is correct it is no wonder that we all pay such high costs for our electricity in South Africa. Now they are looking for 16% increase as well as the other ridiculous so called "demands"!The country cannot sustain this type of increase.

  • Deon - 2011-04-19 08:56

    Can someone please tell me how the fuc to "save' electricity? Where do I store it and how do I know when to its okay to use my "saved" electricity? Maybe I should quit my senior management post and become and "average" ESKOM worker.All those benefits and a R36 000/month paycheck...WTF are they bitching about.

  • Cui Bono - 2011-04-19 09:24

    Time for a reality check guys... the consumer cannot afford this anymore

  • Henry - 2011-04-19 09:30

    they are overpaid, now they want more??????

  • neserp - 2011-04-19 09:39

    average salary of R36000 a month and they want more!!!?? WTF???

  • YasButIDunno - 2011-04-19 09:41

    How about they reduce the salaries of the inept BEE management by 25% instead?

  • Tokzik - 2011-04-19 10:05

    Someone should decrease the salary of the person who wrote this article. That R36000 is absolutely not a true reflection of the income distribution within ESKoM.

  • Ed - 2011-04-19 10:22

    Jesus... the only thing they left out was my kitchen sink! It is difficult to blame the 'average' employee as their is a MASSIVE disparity between the 75% of employees who earn less than R7500pm and the remaining 25% who earn over R75000pm. That is still NO excuse to bring the country to a standstill...Ed.

  • onetickie - 2011-04-19 11:35

    From who? The tax payers???

  • Nuck Choris - 2011-04-19 11:56

    @PDP Many years ago, long before the lights went out, one of my former female employees went to work for Eskom in East London. Now even way back in those years she was told she would be of the last white females employed there. Maybe this policy has contributed to Eskoms inefficiencies and the workers ridiculous demands. "Im just sayin"

  • Cui Bono - 2011-04-19 12:01

    Time for a reality check

  • GD - 2011-04-19 12:23

    I own my own business and dont earn R 36 000 per month! Come now guys, maybe this is the revolution we are looking for - bugger these bastards that keep stealing our money! We just suffered a 28% increase in electricity, nevermind everything else that has gone up ie. petrol. THEN ESKOM STILL HAVE THE CHEEK TO TELL US WE ARE FACING POWER CUTS THIS WINTER!

  • Nicolas - 2011-04-19 12:45

    A stand needs to be taken, they have gotten away with this for too long now!! Fire the whole lot and let the ones who want to work re-apply for their jobs! Then bring in the army and treat the strikers like they should be treated....beat the crap out of them and put them in jail!! When is enough going to be enough, these lazy bastards want fantastic pay packages but don't want to work for it!!!!!!

  • Baas-Julius - 2011-04-19 12:46

    This really just makes me very angry!

  • Mathekga - 2011-04-19 12:52

    Ok, we pay 25% increase year on year and it get spend on salaries while employees of other companies cannot even get 8% increase due to inflation and recession. so what is especial about Eskom? It is about time that they list Eskom in JSE to fund itself and run like any other company without government backing since government backing is negatively impacting on customers badly. The increase in profit for Eskom is because of increase in tariffs with an aim of expanding not to give Eskom employees fat salaries.

  • Ang - 2011-04-19 13:14

    Average of R36,000 a month?? Surely this is a mistake?? If not, then all those demanding 16% increase should be dismissed, take the inflation increase like the rest of us have to!

  • Deciphener - 2011-04-19 13:21

    I work for Eskom and trust me when I say my union, NUM, never consulted me about this. A R3000 allowance is ubsurd to say the least. the R1500 we get is adequate. I do however agree with a electricity subsidy but not of R700. At the most 250. Trust many Eskom employees would agree to between 8,5 to 10% increase if propally consulted by both management and unions.

      thabo motedi - 2011-04-19 17:50

      what about the average monthly salary of R36000? is it true Decipher?

  • Organist-1 - 2011-04-19 20:25

    Frankly I think the gauntlet should be thrown down. They have just been on strile and had demands met. Do the floor sweepera now want to live like execs? Electricity -- R700 a month? I have a 120sq meter home and only use R400 a month. R3000 housing subsidy? My pension is less than half that. And then still a 16% wage hike? when they leave things like bolts lying around in generators or cand find the walve to stop the steam to a generator? PLEASE.

  • TinyT - 2011-04-20 07:50

    The average employee gets R36000? And they just 20% want more? Wow I think I have the wrong job. Also my electricity bill for two people only comes to max R200 a month- what do they want R700 for? The only change in salary that should occur is a decrease in management salary to lower that 85:1 ratio. That money can be used to reduce our price increases and fix the company! How long will we let these guys walk all over us and earn big bucks doing it? When you go to the shops do they tell you to stop buying so much bread or you will get fined because they messed up? What a rip off! I think that we as customers should strike!

  • @Bt - 2011-04-20 18:14

    who ever wrote this article sure smokes a herb from a different planet i know eskom employees don't earn that much whichever formula you use to calcutlate their avarages it wont amount to R36 000 maybe it's a typo

  • Stu - 2011-04-25 09:42

    Hey 24 - dumbass surely you mean R3600 ? R36 000 would put the economy in the crapper !!

  • BigD - 2011-06-08 19:33

    Eskom workers earn more than people in private sector. The people in private sector have to work a full day as well.

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