Numsa: Eskom using wage talks as scapegoat to implement load shedding


a week ago

JOHANNESBURG - Wage talks between Eskom representatives and unions will kick off on Tuesday morning at the Central Bargaining Forum, but unions are concerned that the utility is already using these talks as a "scapegoat for implementing more load shedding."

Last week, the state-owned company warned that rising tension during wage talks could impact on operations and services.

Workers affiliated with Numsa are demanding, among other things, a 15% wage increase, a one-year wage agreement and an end to salary disparities.

The union's Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said: “We’ve not even had the first round of talks yet but already, the dirty tricks have started. We reject the desperate attempt by Eskom’s latest statement to link power cuts to wage talks. It is an objective fact that the current management of Eskom under the leadership of Andre de Ruyter is failing to keep the lights on and under his watch, the country has experienced the worst case of load shedding in history.”

Numsa insists the utility's wage bill is not its biggest cost driver.

Hlubi-Majola accused Eskom of refusing to make any sacrifices when it came to running the organisation.

“They are prepared to give perpetual increases to the call centre and IRIPP in spite of the dire financial situation that the SOE is said to be in. If Eskom can continuously increase the price of coal contract for mining bosses, then workers at Eskom can also demand an increase. The narrative driven by the media about Eskom being in a paralysed financial position and therefore workers deserve 0% increase lacks foundational understanding of this industry that is regulated by Nersa.”

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This article first appeared on EWN : Numsa: Eskom using wage talks as scapegoat to implement load shedding

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