Unions demand to meet with Gordhan, Nene as Eskom wage talks drag on

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The NUM says the proposed meeting will help the involved parties to resolve their differences and sign a new wage agreement.

Unions at Eskom have demanded a meeting with board members, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene after the power utility tabled a new wage offer on Tuesday night.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a majority union at Eskom, said the wage talks were ”at a sensitive stage”.

“The wage negotiations are at a sensitive stage, and NUM, Numsa, and Solidarity have requested a meeting with [Gordhan], [Nene] and the Eskom board. The proposed meeting is going to take place as soon as possible.The NUM believes the proposed meeting will help the parties to resolve their differences amicably and sign an agreement,” NUM said in a statement on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s negotiations went on until late into the night, with Eskom upping their wage increase offer from 7% to 7.5%.

The unions demanded 8% for 2018, a R500 housing allowance and a 12% bonus, or a three-year deal where 8% will be for the first year and 8.5% for the next two years. The housing allowance demand was rejected, with Eskom telling unions they would have to wait for the utility’s audited financial statements to be signed off before a bonus could be considered.

The unions have withdrawn their threats to embark on a strike, as the possibility of a wage deal looms after weeks of stop-start negotiations.

The Citizen