CCMA steps in to defuse Eskom wage dispute | Fin24
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CCMA steps in to defuse Eskom wage dispute

Aug 10 2016 13:49
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) will take over wage negotiations for Eskom workers.

The CCMA said in a statement on Wednesday it would assist the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Solidarity in the Eskom wage dispute.

The CCMA will offer assistance in terms of section 150 of the Labour Relations Act to find a resolution. Talks are scheduled for Thursday 11 August, and they will be facilitated by a senior commissioner, director of the CCMA, Cameron Sello Morajane confirmed.

This follows as Eskom on Tuesday obtained a court interdict against striking NUM members. NUM national spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu, told Fin24 that workers “on the ground” are currently striking nationally.

He said the union was not aware of the interdict when it called a national strike, following its national shop steward council meeting on Tuesday. “NUM is consulting with lawyers to see what to do about the interdict and find a way forward,” he said, as he was rushing off to Mpumalanga where workers are striking. 

Khulu Phasiwe, spokesperson for Eskom said that the court interdict will enable the power utility to take disciplinary action against employees who are not at work because of the strike. "Employees are not supposed to be striking, picketing or demonstrating. If their conduct is contrary to the court ruling they will be breaking the law and will have to account to the court."

Eskom said on Tuesday it has contingency plans in place, so load shedding will not occur during the strike.

NUM is currently still in a meeting with Eskom, confirmed Mammburu. Phasiwe said that the aim is to reach "some agreement" regarding wage demands. "Eskom has always been offering a 7% to 9% wage increase," he said.

NUM revised down their demand of a 12% wage increase to 10% for the lowest paid workers and 8.5% for the highest paid workers, said Mammburu. The housing allowance has also been revised down from R5 000 to R3 000.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa is demanding a 12% wage increase across the board and a housing allowance of R4 000. But the union is open to negotiations, said Vuyo Bikitsha, electricity sector coordinator for Numsa. The union has not taken strike action. “We are still assessing our options,” he said.

Morajane further confirmed that the CCMA will ensure that all options are explored in an effort to resolve the dispute.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

solidarity  |  num  |  eskom  |  numsa  |  wage demands  |  strike action  |  labour unrest


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