Eskom ropes in CCMA to mediate wage talks

Eskom workers protest at Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg against the company’s decision not to increase wages this year. Picture: ANA

Employees are demanding 12% of their annual salaries as a once-off bonus.

Eskom said on Tuesday it had requested the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to intervene and facilitate the protracted wage negotiations between the power utility and workers unions.

“Eskom has sought the services of the CCMA to facilitate the engagement between the organisation and union leaders to resolve the impasse,” Eskom said in a statement.

“We are hopeful that all parties will put South Africa first, as we endeavour in finding an amicable solution.”

Eskom employees are demanding 12% of their annual salaries as a once-off bonus as part of a wage settlement, which has yet to be concluded two months after negotiations between unions and the cash-strapped utility started.

Another round of wage negotiations between Eskom and workers’ unions is set to resume on Friday. The unions rejected the power utility’s latest offer of a basic salary increase of 7% each year until 2020, with a housing allowance adjusted annually by CPI over the period July 2018 to June 2021.

Meanwhile, the South African Police Services had been mobilised to maintain order and to enable safe access to some of its power stations after workers disrupted coal supply.

Eskom also issued a strong warning about the risk of load shedding on Tuesday as the industrial action continues.

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