The crucial Eskom wage negotiations have collapsed after management suspended the talks and declared a formal dispute with the unions at the CCMA. The move has come as a shock to the unions.
On Tuesday, the NUM, which is the majority union, lowered its wage demand from 15% to 10%, while NUMSA also revised its wage demand down from 15% to 12%.
Eskom declares dispute as wage negotiations collapse:
NUM Spokesperson Khangela Baloyi says the declaration of a formal dispute by Eskom with the CCMA is a declaration of war.
“Eskom has declared a dispute and we view that as a declaration of war. Eskom is refusing to bargain because we are only on the first day of round three, already they are declaring a dispute which means we are going to the CCMA to finish the negotiations there. But we saw from the beginning that they wanted to collapse these negotiations. Now we need to inform everyone that we are back to our original demands of 15% and all other elements that were with it.”
Eskom earlier said it declared a dispute with trade unions NUM, NUMSA and Solidarity as the parties were unable to reach an agreement in the Central Bargaining Forum wage negotiations.
Meanwhile, Eskom says the electricity supply system remains vulnerable. This after using its reserves when the system failed last week.
The power utility has implemented stage two load shedding which started at 10am and will continue until 10pm on Friday night. It says this is due to the breakdown of generating units at the Majuba and Arnot power stations.
Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says the power utility is working hard to return generation units back to service.
“Breakdowns currently total 13 600 megawatts while another 1300 is out on planned maintenance. Our teams are working hard to return these generation units back to service as soon as possible. As well as to replenish the emergency reserves. We would like to appeal to the public to reduce the usage of electricity in order to assist the country get through these constraints as soon as possible.”
Sikonathi Mantshantsha on load shedding: