Workers won’t be allowed to strike – Eskom

2010-06-24 17:00

Eskom workers will not be allowed to strike, even if the Commission

for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) issues a non-resolution

certificate.

Bhabhalazi Bulunga, Eskom’s human resources head, said the

mediation process between Eskom and the three unions representing workers at the

power utility – the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) – was ongoing.

By late this afternoon they were still in a meeting at the CCMA,

attempting to resolve their differences. This followed the issuing of a

non-resolution certificate earlier today.

“Eskom would like to stress that a certificate of non-resolution

would not mean that unions could call a protected strike at Eskom, as has been

suggested,” said Bulunga.

“Eskom has been declared an essential service, and strikes at Eskom

are thus prohibited.”

He said the fact that strikes were not allowed was reaffirmed by a

High Court interdict obtained by Eskom on May 25.

On Monday evening Eskom made a wage increase offer of 8%.

The company also offered a 5.6% increase on certain allowances as well as a pay-out of R12 000 to all employees in two

equal instalments.

The trade unions rejected the offer and demanded an increase of 9%

and a housing allowance of R4 000 per month.

Bulunga said if a certificate of non-resolution was issued, the

next stage in the process for an essential service was that either party could

refer the matter to arbitration.

“If a final certificate of non-resolution is issued, Eskom intends

to follow that course. An arbitrator, whose decision would be binding on both

Eskom and the unions, would then be appointed.”

He said Eskom remained hopeful that an agreement could still be

reached.


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