Today's Labour News

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eskomBusinessLive reports that trade union Solidarity has threatened litigation should the government implement a controversial proposal to use pension fund money to bail out cash-strapped power utility Eskom.  

Union federation Cosatu recently proposed using R250bn of Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) money managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to pay down Eskom’s debt.  This would in return for a range of undertakings by the government, including that no workers at Eskom should lose their jobs and that Eskom not be privatised.  The Cosatu proposal was reportedly supported by President Cyril Ramaphosa and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.  However, it was reported on Wednesday that in view of disquiet growing in organised labour about the implications of the proposal, Cosatu was putting the brakes on the issue in favour of more consultations.  Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said on Wednesday that Cosatu “putting brakes on this issue means there is a pushback against the whole idea, and we welcome that”.  He advised that Solidarity had sent letters to the PIC and the GEPF demanding that the trustees and the boards of the institutions not accept the controversial plan to finance Eskom.  He indicated further that:  “If Solidarity does not receive such a guarantee, or if a decision is made to implement the controversial Eskom plan, Solidarity will take further legal action, which may include urgent legal assistance.”  Hermann lashed out at what he called “pension capture”, lamenting that it was “not the responsibility of workers to fund bankrupt SOEs”.  Solidarity, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are recognised trade unions at Eskom.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive


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