The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has walked out of the second round of wage negotiations with Eskom, accusing the power utility of displaying a hostile attitude towards workers. Numsa, together with the National Union of Mineworkers have rejected the cash-strapped power utility’s decision not to give workers a wage increase.

The unions’ demands include a 15% wage increase, a R2000 housing allowance increase and an 80% contribution to medical aid.

Eskom management has also confirmed that they have declared a deadlock with us and this means that there will be no more talks. We are officially headed for a strike. Trade unions are united in a fight for an increase and refuse to be blamed for the financial losses caused by corrupt managers at the state owned entity. We will be mobilising all our members to embark on a complete shutdown of Eskom if they refuse to negotiate meaningfully with our demands,” says Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.

The power utility says it cannot offer employees a wage increase this year due to its financial constraints. “We are offering a 0% for the current financial year because of the difficult financial stress the company is currently facing. So today, the three unions walked out of the negotiation room and then the meeting had to stop. So we will see tomorrow if we have to be there – but from our side we have put all our cards on the table and explained why we are offering this 0%,” says spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe.

Click below for more on the story: