Eskom wage negotiations nearing collapse as unions walk out

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The crucial Eskom wage negotiations are teetering on the brink of collapse. The talks have been suspended after unions walked out.

The unions are insisting that Eskom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andre De Ruyter must come and address them. Eskom, on the other hand, is resisting the move saying the CEO is not part of the company’s negotiating team.

A delegation of top leaders from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Solidarity met with Eskom Board Chairperson, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, on Thursday morning, to discuss a way out of the impasse.

The negotiations have failed to get off the ground since they began two days ago.

Eskom wage negotiations teetering on the brink of collapse

Eskom is rejecting all union demands and refuses to table a wage offer until the unions lower their demands. The power utility says the demands are unreasonable and simply unaffordable.

The unions maintain that their demands are justified. However, NUM and Numsa are demanding a 15% wage hike.

Solidarity, which represents mainly white workers, is demanding 9%.

Makgoba has written to the unions saying he is going to convene a meeting of the Eskom executive management to discuss the parastatal’s turnaround strategy ahead of the next scheduled round of wage negotiations two weeks from now.

Crucial Eskom wage negotiations hit a snag from the get-go