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From 0% to 7.5%: Eskom marathon wage talks to resume next week

Jul 18 2018 11:13
Lameez Omarjee

Marathon wage negotiations between Eskom and trade unions are set to resume next week.

This is according to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which sent out a tweet late on Tuesday evening, following a meeting with Eskom and NUM, Solidarity and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

The NUM said that at the meeting on July 27 unions would provide Eskom with feedback about how their members reacted to the power utility's latest wage offer. 

Two offers

On Wednesday morning, Eskom deputy spokesperson Dikatso Mothae told Fin24 that Eskom put two offers on the table at the latest round of negotiations. The first option was a 7% increase per year for the three years outlined in the talks, with a housing allowance adjusted by consumer price index.

The second option was 7.5% in year one, 7% in year two and 7% in year three, with no adjustment in terms of housing allowance.

Mothae said the unions all agreed to take the two offers on the table to their members.

"We (all unions and Eskom) will reconvene on July 27, and we are hopeful that an agreement is imminent," Mothae said.

She would not comment on how long the talks stretched into Tuesday evening, or whether Eskom was concerned that the talks would escalate to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Fin24 also spoke to Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe on Wednesday morning to find out if a settlement had been reached. Phasiwe said the talks stretched to 7pm.

According to Phasiwe, after Eskom’s revised settlement offer, proposals were tabled, trade unions deliberated on it and asked for time to engage their members.

"Given the current financial challenges of the organisation, the Eskom offer is fair and competitive. This decision was not taken lightly and it will require a lot of sacrifices and co-operation from all the Eskom guardians as we try to return this organisation to profitability," said Phasiwe.

The wage negotiations have been ongoing for more than two months. "At some point we need to agree or see if we must go to the CCMA," Phasiwe previously told Fin24.

Eskom had initially offered a 0% increase to workers, saying it could not afford more due to financial challenges.

This led to threats of a prolonged strike action by unions and the intervention of Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan. 

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solidarity  |  num  |  eskom  |  numsa  |  wage negotiations
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