JOHANNESBURG, July 11 – Wage negotiations between power utility Eskom and unions resumed on Tuesday in Johannesburg.
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu told television news channel eNCA that unions have given Eskom two options of a one year deal or a three year one. Eskom on Friday tabled a 7 percent wage increase for this year, and 6 percent for the next two years.
”The three unions had a caucus, and agreed that for now, we will be going for a one year deal for now because Eskom is not even closer [to our demands]. We propose 8 for the first year , R500 housing allowance and a 12 percent bonus. The three year deal is an 8 percent first year and 8.5 percent for the next two years,” he said.
Eskom was rejecting the housing allowance and told unions they will have to wait for the utility’s audited financial statements to be signed off before a bonus could be considered.
The month-long talks have seen NUM threaten to embark on industrial action because Eskom rejected the wage increase demands, citing lack of funds.
The utility is one of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises “captured” by the Gupta family and their associates. The family milked the state companies through massive illegal contracts. The unions have argued that with Eskom executives’ perks such as the R500,000 spent monthly on fuel was an indication that their demands on behalf of workers were affordable. (ANA)