Labour unions study Eskom offer for 7% wage hike

Wage talks to resume on Tuesday.
Image: Bloomberg

Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s embattled power utility, will resume wage talks with workers on Tuesday after proposing a 7% wage hike to end an impasse that plunged the continent’s most industrialised nation into its worst blackout since 2019.

Read our load shedding coverage here.

Eskom proposed a 7% increase for the year in a Friday meeting and talks will resume on July 5, an Eskom spokesman said in a response to a text message Saturday.

Unions are discussing the offer made during the 12-hour meeting, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, or Numsa, one of Eskom’s biggest labour groups, said in a statement.

“We understand that the entire country is watching these talks with keen interest,” the union said. “There is a lot of pressure for us to give a response right away.”

Eskom, which has 42 000 employees, says the impasse has forced it to remove 6 000 megawatts of demand for three days this week, the deepest power cuts since 2019. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Eskom would offer a 7% wage increase for one year, on a sliding scale. Eskom’s unions wanted a 12% increase across the board.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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