Eskom on Wednesday declared a dispute with its three recognised labour unions after it failed to reach an agreement on wage talks.
Last month, the utility tabled a final wage hike offer of 1.5% to unions at the Central Bargaining Forum.
This was on the condition that union representatives accept amendments to some of the conditions of service such as transfer benefits, overtime pay rates and travel time.
However, this was far below what the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and trade union Solidarity are demanding. The NUM and Numsa want a 15% wage hike for all non-managerial employees, while Solidarity requested a 9.5% increase.
Giving an update on the wage negotiations, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the unions rejected the parastatal’s final wage offer.
He said the three unions instead placed demands for basic salary increases of 10%, 12% and 9.5%.
“This in addition to other demands for the increases of an average 15% in the benefits enjoyed by the employees. Eskom, which relies on taxpayer cash bailouts to maintain its going concern status, has clearly demonstrated these demands are unaffordable,” Mantshantsha said in a brief statement.