Numsa members picket at Eskom HQ over proposed tariff hikes. PHOTOS ANA

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Eskom unions reject power utility’s wage proposal

JOHANNESBURG, June 28 – The recognised trade unions at Eskom on Wednesday rejected the latest revised wage proposal from South Africa’s power utility.

In a joint statement, the National Union of Mineworkers, (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), and Solidarity said they met with Eskom management through the Central Bargaining Forum to resume wage talks on Wednesday.

Last week the unions jointly made a comprehensive proposal to Eskom’s management. The unions said their proposal included a plan for Eskom to reduce cost drivers, “whilst also generating enough money for wage increases and guaranteeing the long term sustainability of the State-owned enterprise”.

Their proposal included a nine percent wage increase for 2018; an 8.6 percent increase for 2019 and; an 8.5 percent increase for 2020.

Eskom responded to the unions’ proposal on Wednesday, and offered a five percent wage increase for 2018; inflation plus 0.6 percent increase for 2019; and inflation plus 0.7 percent for 2020.

“We have rejected this proposal. This is not an offer we can take back to our members for consideration. Once again we have called on Eskom to take this process seriously. When you consider the individual demands of the unions since these talks started, we have made major concessions and compromised on our positions,” the unions said in a statement.

“The leadership of all unions have demonstrated commitment by ensuring they are available for engagement. In comparison Eskom has wasted a lot of time and they have not yet made any serious proposal which our members would accept.  The Eskom board and the Group CEO Phakamani Hadebe continue to snub the process, and they have not bothered to attend any of the talks.” (ANA)

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