End in sight for Eskom wage talks after ‘good’ offer

The three unions involved in the negotiations meet today to either accept or reject the power utility's 7% wage hike offer.

There may be an end in sight for the ongoing wage talks at state power utility Eskom.

As negotiations continue today, trade union Solidarity said it was seriously considering taking the employer’s offer of a 7% wage hike.

The union’s deputy secretary-general Deon Reyneke said his organisation considered the new offer a good one and was hopeful that it and the other unions, the National Union of Metal and Allied Workers of South Africa (Numsa) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), would agree when unions meet today.

Unions were originally asking for 8.5% among individual demands relating to worker conditions.

Negotiations broke down last month after Eskom’s initial offer of 0%, citing financial difficulties.

The ensuing week-long strike was followed by the first bout of load shedding the country had experienced since 2014. The utility blamed it on workers disrupting operations at power stations, which unions vehemently denied.

“The mandate is that it is a good offer and that we are seriously considering accepting that offer, although there are other issues we need to sort out before then, including with regards to the IPPs (independent power producers) and bloated management at Eskom.”

“We have been presenting a united front and will, of course, discuss with the others before we accept the offer and we would rather go as a unit than to go as individual unions.”

ALSO READ: McKinsey agrees to repay close to R1bn to Eskom

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