Today's Labour News

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eskomBL Premium reports that unions negotiating for higher wages at state-owned power utility Eskom are set to meet to chart a way forward after talks between labour and the employer reached a deadlock.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) accused the utility’s management of walking out of wage talks after declaring a dispute on Tuesday. “We must not be surprised if Eskom imposes a below-inflation increase again, as it did last year,” Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said in a statement on Wednesday. But in response, Eskom said: “The media statement of Numsa does not reflect what transpired at the CBF [central bargaining forum]. It is fraught with sensationalisation, inaccuracies and falsehoods … We have, under the current economic conditions and our financial constraints, proposed a decent offer which on average amounts to 4.7%.” Numsa, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and Eskom met on Tuesday at the CBF for what would have been the fourth round of talks that were scheduled to end on Wednesday. Numsa and NUM, which represent most of Eskom’s workforce of about 42,300 workers, had prior to the meetuing been demanding a one-year, 15% pay rise across the board, while Solidarity wasdemanding a 5.5% overall increase. But, Numsa’s spokesperson said last week that the union had reduced its demand to 12%. In a document seen by Business Day last week, Eskom is offering a one-year pay hike deal for increases of 5.3%, 4.5% and 4% for its 28,374 employees in the bargaining unit, who are spread across different salary scales. On Wednesday, Jim said Numsa and other unions submitted their revised demands and the expectation was that “we would engage in a final round”. He went on to claim that “after Numsa made its opening remarks, instead of engaging, Eskom management responded by declaring a dispute and then it walked out of the venue.”

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)
  • Read too, Eskom walks out of wage negotiations with union, at Moneyweb

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page