Unions reject Eskom’s wage offer, Num describes it as a joke

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Eskom unions have rejected a 1.5% wage offer tabled by management. Management made the offer on condition that unions agree to forego leave and other benefits, which Eskom workers have enjoyed for many years.

The talks were suspended two weeks ago after unions demanded that Eskom CEO, Andre De Ruyter come and present the company’s turnaround strategy to them. That finally happened, paving the way for the negotiations to proceed.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the company’s offer is due to its financial circumstances.

“Eskom has been making losses and is reliant on the taxpayer for funding…so the offer is dependent on the workers excepting some changes in the conditions of service,” he says.

Unions promptly shot down the offer.

“There’s no offer on the table, what has been given is a joke, is a 1.5% that is conditional,” says Acting General Secretary of Num, William Mabapa.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) says their members will not entertain any offer below the consumer price inflation, currently sitting at 3.2%.

“Eskom is playing with us, 1.5% which is below-inflation, is not even a starter for our discussions. We told them that we’re not accepting the 1.5. We can only talk about them making an offer if the 1.5 is above inflation,” says Numsa’s chief negotiator Vuyo Bikitsha.

Both Num and Numsa are demanding a 15% salary increase with Solidarity pushing for a 9.5% hike.

The high-stakes talks continue.

Details in the video below on other issues the power utility and unions differ on: