Today's Labour News

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eskomBusinessLive reports that, while Eskom has stuck to its plan of reducing its headcount through "natural attrition", there is distrust among trade unions about its intentions.  

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) recently said the company needed to cut at least 6,000 posts.  This week, the power utility maintained it had no plans to cut staff numbers despite increased pressure to do so by the energy regulator and experts.  Instead, it has stuck to its strategy of managing the reduction of its headcount by "natural attrition" while retaining core and critical skills.  Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said the company’s plan to reduce its headcount to 36,746 by 2021-22 was dependent on the assumption it would lose 4% of its total staff due to resignations or retirement annually.  "By 2020, over 10,000 people would have left Eskom without resorting to retrenchments.  If people leave, we’ll fill the posts internally and the numbers will go down through natural attrition," Phasiwe indicated.  The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) complained that they were in the dark about the plans.  The NUM’s Paris Mashego said that past experience had shown that when the power utility embarked on a natural attrition process, workers often found themselves hauled before disciplinary hearings as that became a method of getting rid of workers.  “We fear this approach is what we will see again,” he said.

  • Read this report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BusinessLive

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