Group to take Eskom to court over affirmative action | Fin24

Group to take Eskom to court over affirmative action

May 25 2015 21:15
Dane McDonald and Matthew le Cordeur, Fin24

Cape Town - Trade union Solidarity will ask the Labour Court to invalidate Eskom’s entire affirmative action plan.

Deputy general secretary for Solidarity, Johan Kruger, told Fin24 that the union will contend that Eskom falls foul of the employment equity act on two grounds.

“Firstly on a procedural level there needed to be a proper consultation procedure followed before the plan was accepted. Solidarity contends that a proper consultation procedure was not followed.

“Substantively we feel that the plan is not rational because the numerical goals that the plan sets [out], did not take into account the skills offer that is available,” Kruger said.

READ: Eskom could axe 3 400 white employees - Solidarity

According to Kruger the plan uses the figures of the economically active population (EAP) of SA to set numerical goals, while the skills offer looks vastly different as opposed to the EAP.

“There is simply not enough skills available for Eskom to seek to achieve demographic representation in line the economically active population figures,” he said.

Solidarity will disclose particulars regarding its court application against Eskom’s current affirmative action plan at a media conference on Wednesday, May 27.

In the court documents, Solidarity calls on the Labour Court to declare the affirmative action plan invalid in its entirety. The union believes that this plan contravenes the Employment Equity Act.

The premise of Solidarity’s court application is that Eskom had not sufficiently consulted with the parties concerned regarding its new affirmative action plan before the plan was finalised.

In addition, Solidarity believes that Eskom’s plan does not take other relevant factors such as the available pool of people with appropriate qualifications into account.

Eskom: We have no policy of discriminating

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Fin24 on Monday that Eskom "has no policy of discriminating against any grouping of people based on their race, gender or creed".

Phasiwe said Eskom "had to comply with the law (Employment Equity Act), doing this in a responsible and inclusive manner".

"No current employees will lose their jobs because of employment equity," he said.

"Eskom has over the past years been able to achieve targets set and has made progress without threatening jobs for any demographic employment group," he added.

"All trade unions organising workers at Eskom – including Solidarity – are members of the Employment Equity and Skill Development Committee that monitors the implementation of the plan throughout its duration."

Phasiwe pointed out the announcement by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson about the expansion and acceleration of the independent power producer procurement programme.

READ: SA to become global leader of renewables - IPP bid winner

solidarity  |  eskom  |  electricity  |  labour


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