Wage talks break down after Eskom offers 0% increase – NUMSA

Union demands a 15% across the board increase instead

NUMSA walks out of wage talks with Eskom

7 June 2018

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has walked out of wage talks with Eskom. This was the second round of wage talks, but we simply could not continue because of Eskom’s hostile attitude towards workers.

The talks broke down for the following reasons:

1.  Eskom brought specialized security armed with high caliber weapons to surround the negotiations venue yesterday. This was an attempt to intimidate us. We cannot be expected to talk with the threat of guns hovering over us. The memory of the Marikana massacre is still fresh in our minds. Our government has demonstrated that it is willing and capable of murdering workers simply for demanding a living wage.

2. The Eskom negotiations team consistently offered a 0% increase without providing audited financial statements and they refuse to disclose how much is being spent on the build programme and on legal bills. They also refuse to give guarantees that there will be no corruption and mismanagement of the SOE going forward. We are of the view that we are suffering because of the sins of management and who through their corruption, wasteful expenditure and mismanagement have brought the SOE to the brink of financial ruin.

3. The Eskom negotiations team has made it clear that they do not have the power to engage on a living wage. They insist that the only mandate they have is the 0% wage offer. We will not waste our time talking to people who don’t have the power to implement changes. If there are to be any engagements we demand the presence of the board of directors as they are the only ones with the power to change the wage offer.  

Below are some of our demands:

We demand a one year agreement

We demand a 15% across the board increase

We demand 80% contribution to medical aid and 20% contribution by employees.

We demand a housing allowance increase of R2000.

We demand the banning of labour brokers and the insourcing of workers such as cleaners and security guards

We demand paid maternity leave of 6 months and paid paternity leave of 1 month

So far the SOE has demonstrated only extreme arrogance towards our members and their employees.  They have shown that they do not care about workers and their families. They are only concerned with enriching those who are politically connected to the governing party. To date not one cent has been recovered for the mismanagement and rampant looting which has taken place at Eskom over the last 10 years, but they have the gall to deny workers a well-deserved increase! Eskom management has also confirmed that they have declared a deadlock with us for refusing to accept the 0% wage offer. This means there will be no more talks. We are officially headed for a strike. Trade unions are united in their fight for an increase and refuse to be blamed for the financial losses caused by corrupt managers at the state owned entity (SOE).

We will be mobilizing all our members and all workers to embark on a complete shut-down of Eskom if they continue to refuse to engage meaningfully with our demands.

Aluta continua!

The struggle continues!

Issued by Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, NUMSA National Spokesperson, 7 June 2018