Union to protest over Eskom wage talks

2011-09-16 12:30

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will march to Eskom’s Joburg office tomorrow over stalled wage talks.

“Tomorrow will be a show of force. It will be an indication to Eskom that nothing about us without us is possible,” NUM official Job Matsepe said in a statement today.

Spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said members were expected to join the protest against Eskom’s latest pay offer of a 7% increase across the board.

Union members would also come out to reject Eskom’s conversion of its pension fund to a provident fund. Other demands related to a minimum-service level agreement, and the improvement of a housing allowance.

Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said operations had not been affected by the negotiations, but the next step would be arbitration.

“Arbitration is compulsory, because there is no legal right to strike. It’s just a question of getting a date and a speedy resolution.”

Joffe said Eskom would implement its 7% offer.

Seshoka said NUM would return to the Labour Court on Monday to hear judgment on an urgent interdict it had filed to prevent workers from being given the seven percent increase.

“They (Eskom) are going alone to arbitration. We reject the idea of arbitration with contempt.”

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