Unions sign 7% Eskom wage deal

Week-long strike saw the power utility having no option but to implement Stage 6 load shedding, which plunged the country into its worst bout of rolling blackouts yet.

Labour unions have received the go-ahead from striking Eskom workers to accept the power utility’s offer for a 7% wage increase, costing Eskom an extra R1 billion.

The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa), National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and Solidarity came to the agreement with Eskom on Tuesday. Both Eskom and Numsa confirmed the signing of the wage deal.

The long-awaited agreement comes after the strike of essential service workers at Eskom saw the power utility having no option but to implement Stage 6 load shedding last week, plunging the country into its worst bout of rolling blackouts.

Apart from the 7% wage bump, Eskom workers have also won a R400 increase in housing allowance as well as the reinstatement of the conditions of service.

“As Numsa we are pleased to have finally resolved this round of wage talks, particularly given the difficult circumstances that we faced,” the union said in a statement.

“The conditions of service which were unilaterally withdrawn, and which caused so much pain to our members, have been restored. We have also secured an improvement from last year, after Eskom imposed 1.5%.”

Read: SA’s worst week of load shedding to hit economy hard

Eskom has further voiced expectations that workers who still remain absent from their duties will return to work tomorrow. However, speaking at a briefing on Tuesday, Num’s General Secretary Makgabo Mabapa said although the union echoes the call for all members to return to work, he can not confirm when they will do so.

“We’ll put our focus on those four power stations – [where workers remain absent]- and plead with the workers that the agreement has been signed, what they’ve been fighting for has been resolved therefore they must go back to work. As to when, I don’t know, I don’t want to commit,”

Meaning that although the strike by workers has officially ended, South African’s should expect their load shedding woes to continue. Eskom has confirmed this by maintaining that the return to normalcy in terms of energy supply remains far-off.

“It is important to note that while the workforce is returning to work, the system will still take some time to recover. As a result of the strike, maintenance work has had to be postponed, and this backlog will take time to clear.”

Read: Eskom warns it may take ‘days to weeks’ before its systems recover

According to a Num union representative union members have also asked Eskom to not take disciplinary action against workers who failed to pitch for work to perform their essential duties of keeping the country’s lights on.

However, should Eskom decide to follow through with disciplinary action, both Numsa and Num leaders have vowed to represent workers against such action.

“We strongly believe that we also reserve the right if there is an action against workers. One of the responsibilities of trade union representatives is to represent our members. So I want to put it very clear that if there will be any actions taken, we will represent our members,” Mabapa says.

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The unions signed an agreement to extort the consumers who actually pay their salaries.

This parasitic monster uses its tentacles that reach into every business and household to steal 7% more of the spending power of citizens whose own salaries or income did not rise to the same extent.

In fact, Eskom’s clients are already downscaling due to a lowering in their living standards, which was brought about by the incompetence and criminality of the Tripartite Alliance that received raise in their living standards.

Eskom is a bankrupt SOE that bribes ANC supporters with a raise that is paid by non-ANC supporters.

The union representative further told Moneyweb that union members have also asked Eskom to not take disciplinary action against workers who failed to pitch for work to perform their essential duties of keeping the country’s lights on.

This is exactly the reason there is a certain repeat of offence !!
There never is a real consequence for illegal behavior in RSA

It is so disheartening being a part of the private sector, receiving no increases for multiples year because of the current business conditions in the country. Working hard to meet increasing expenses, only to see a series of unlawful strikes at the most overemployed and overpaid SOE in the country, and finally to receive the news that those unlawful strikes have been met with a 7% increase and zero consequence for lawlessness. In the private sector you have to walk on water to receive real growth in your remuneration but in the public sector you just have to be a union member. I feel this just further exacerbates the great divide within this country between public and private sectors. I hate to feel this way.

End of comments.

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