NUM gears up for ‘bitter battle’ with Eskom over salary increase

2014-07-14 20:33

Power utility Eskom can afford to grant a 12 percent increase in wage negotiations, says the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

“We are more than convinced that Eskom can afford to pay its workers 12 percent salary increase and even more than that,” said NUM acting energy sector coordinator Ndlela Radebe today.

NUM and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) have demanded a one-year wage increase agreement of 12 percent across the board and a housing allowance of R1000.

“With a profit of R7.1 billion that was announced for 2013 financial results, it is without any shadow of doubt that workers’ demands must be met by the employer.”

The union was shocked that former Eskom chief executive Brian Dames left the company with a R15.3 million package.

Eskom verified the figure, saying it included back pay following a moratorium on increases for chief executives of state-owned enterprise and payouts for annual leave.

NUM would not accept Eskom’s offer of a 5.6 percent increase in light of the “exorbitant amount” Dames received.

Spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said further negotiations between NUM and Eskom would be held at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Wednesday.

“The NUM is preparing itself for a bitter battle with Eskom beyond CCMA.

“We will not hesitate to fight with everything, regardless of any intimidation and threats by Eskom.”

The power utility has obtained a court interdict to prevent its workers from striking because it is designated an essential service provider.

Eskom did not immediately respond to requests to comment on the wage talks but previously said it considered it to be a confidential matter between the employer and the unions.

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