Today's Labour News

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eskomBL Premium reports that trade union federation Cosatu has put the brakes on talks on a social compact to save Eskom as disquiet grows in organised labour about the implications of using pension fund money to pay down Eskom’s debt.  

It is no longer expected that President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce the framework agreement in his state of the nation address on Thursday, but he will report on progress made in talks over the past 10 days with business and labour.  Cosatu’s Bheki Ntshalintshali said on Tuesday there was a feeling among members that the federation should "move slowly and consult" to ensure there would be no confusion on what was being proposed.  Events have moved at speed since early last week when the federation presented a proposal at Ramaphosa’s monthly meeting with business and labour leaders that R250bn of pension money managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) be used to pay down Eskom’s debt.  In return, Cosatu hoped to secure a commitment from the government that Eskom would not be privatised and that no workers would lose their jobs.  The federation argued that pensioners would not lose out in the process as the Government Employees Pension Fund, the investments of which are managed by the PIC, was a defined benefit fund, with benefits guaranteed by the government.  The proposal has caused anxiety in business and the investor community, who fear that if implemented it will open the door to prescribed pension fund assets.  The proposal also provoked negative reaction from the Federation of Unions of SA, the second-biggest union federation in SA.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Carol Paton at BusinessLive (paywall access only)
  • Read too, Business, unions 'agree to give space for the next few weeks’ for engagements on Eskom proposal, at Fin24

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page