The National Union of Mineworkers says it’s ready to sign Eskom’s three year wage agreement on condition that the power utility does not press ahead with its intention to discipline its workers.

Eskom has agreed in principle with the unions on salary increases of 7,5% this year and 7% the following two years.

NUM says it’s open for discussions should there be any evidence of wrongdoing found against its members. The union has maintained that it will not allow any dismissals of workers.

Eskom wants disciplinary action taken against workers who took part in strike action that led to rotational load shedding for three days.

The union has argued that Eskom provoked its members through the zero percent initial wage offer.

President of NUM, Joseph Montisetsi says,  “if there’s somebody who have made sabotage we would not want a black mail for our members, we are open for discussion with Eskom about anybody who is found to be done any wrong and then they should, come to us with evidence of such and we will sign the agreement but we are not ready for anyone to be expelled”

Eskom on the other hand says it reserves its right to follow the disciplinary process in line with the company’s Disciplinary Code and Procedure.

It says the strike action included various acts of criminality, including alleged acts of sabotage and destruction of property. It has declared a dispute with trade unions NUMSA and NUM over the precondition that the unions introduced as part of the wage settlement.

Eskom spokesperson Dikatso Mothae says, “We met at the CCMA again yesterday and got stuck in terms of while the unions said we can institute a disciplinary. Now they said that whatever disciplinary we take they should not result in any dismissals, and that where again Eskom said that we deserve our right to follow the disciplinary process under the companies codes and procedures and we cannot pre-empt a disciplinary, so we cannot agree to that.”

Last week at a meeting convened by the CCMA, the three recognised trade unions at the utility including Solidarity all agreed in principle to Eskom’s three-year wage proposal.