Eskom has tabled a 1.5% wage offer to the unions. The wage talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), and Solidarity resumed in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Monday afternoon.
The offer is conditional.
Eskom Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, says the condition is based on: “The labour representatives accepting amendments to some of the conditions of service. These changes include transfer benefits, overtime payment rates and travel time.”
The 1.5% offer is a far cry from the 15 % both NUM and Numsa are demanding. Solidarity is demanding an increase of 9.5%.
The cash-strapped power utility is pleading with unions to accept the offer.
Mantshantsha says they have to take into consideration the financial circumstances of the company “which are well known.”
“Eskom has been making losses and is reliant on the taxpayer for funding,” says Mantshantsha.
Two weeks ago, the negotiations adjourned after unions demanded to be addressed by Chief Executive Officer Andre De Ruyter on the company’s turnaround strategy.
The power utility had then refused to table its offer:
De Ruyter met the unions on Monday morning and presented the turnaround strategy that has paved the way for the negotiations to resume.
“Our expectations are for Eskom to give us an increase, an offer on the table and then we respond and negotiations continue. So, about the strategic issues, we will respond tomorrow at 6 o’clock and wait for the company to respond in terms of where do they incorporate our proposal, which is straightforward. There’s no way Eskom will ever avert the R400 billion debt as long as they use the IPP,“ says Acting General Secretary William Mabapa.