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Eskom – labour unions agreement hit an obstacle

Ball-points to sign “an agreement” to end the wage dispute between labour unions and Eskom were put to one side following a further demand tabled by the workers.

Eskom Group Executive for Human Resources Elsie Pule said in a statement on Wednesday night that the electricity giant and the labour unions met at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), where the unions were expected to provide feedback on whether or not their members accepted Eskom’s latest wage offer.

Instead of providing feedback from their members, said Pule the trade unions have put a condition that their members who took part in an illegal strike action should not face disciplinary action, saying Eskom did not agree.

Last week Eskom tabled substantive terms of a draft settlement offer as follows:

A three-year agreement on wages and conditions of employment for all employees in the bargaining unit (T04 to T13), salary adjustments of 7.5 in 2018/19 and 7% in 2019/20 and 7% in 2020/21 for all bargaining unit employees, cost of living (CPI) adjustments annually to the housing allowance of all bargaining unit employees and a once-off cash payment of R10,000 after tax to each employee in the bargaining unit in the August pay run as part of the wage settlement.

“The trade unions have accepted the Eskom offer and the parties were due to sign the Wage Agreement today, however, they have put a condition that their members who took part in an illegal strike action should not face disciplinary action.

Eskom could not agree to this precondition,” said Pule.

According to Pule, the trade unions have subsequently requested a meeting with the Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom Board.

“The CCMA has requested Eskom to allow the meeting to take place. We await an invitation from the CCMA and we remain committed to resolving the impasse on disciplinary action possibly early next week,” added Pule.

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