NUMSA has accused Eskom of using money set aside for increases to pay more towards coal suppliers instead
There seems to be no end in sight in the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Eskom’s wage battle, with the embattled power utility having declared a dispute during negotiations.
Numsa, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Solidarity have demanded a 15% wage increase, however, Eskom said its final offer was 1.5%.
“Eskom has been negotiating in bad faith from the very beginning of these talks. From the first day of wage talks they made an offer of 1.5%, but the condition for workers to accept this offer is that they must be willing to accept to lose out on certain benefits which they fought decades to secure. NUMSA and NUM have made adjustments and even proposed to reduce their wage demands, but Eskom did not budge at all during these negotiations,” said Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.
“They have not made a single concession since these talks began, whilst we have demonstrated that we are flexible and willing to negotiate. That is the definition of negotiating in bad faith because they are not willing to compromise, they want to impose their position”Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola
NUMSA has accused Eskom of continuing to mislead the public by claiming that it cannot afford the employees’ wage demands.
Eskom has also been accused of using money set aside for increases to pay more towards coal suppliers.
“Why should workers accept 1.5% on the table when NERSA clearly stipulated that it has allocated a 5.4% increase? It is clear that Eskom took money which had been set aside for workers’ increases, and used it to benefit coal supply companies instead,” Hlubi-Majola said.
She added that NUMSA will be holding pickets while waiting for the Conciliation process of the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to unfold.
“We remain committed to finding each other during this engagement. In the meantime, we will mobilize all our members and all workers at Eskom to picket and stage demonstrations during their lunch time to highlight their demands,” Hlubi-Majola said.