Eskom has tabled a 4.7% wage proposal during Tuesday negotiations aimed at preventing a strike.
“The new Eskom reviewed wage offer is 4.7%,” said Irvin Jim, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).
Eskom had initially offered a 0% increase for the current year, while Numsa and the National Union of Mineworkers demanded a 15% hike.
Jim said the power utility had also proposed a 4-year agreement linked to inflation.
“As unions we are not committing to anything, we will take the offer to our members, 4.7% is very far from what the unions here wanted, we will go back and reflect on the offer,” said Jim.
Workers also want a R2 000 a month housing allowance increase, the banning of labour brokers, and the in-sourcing of workers such as cleaners and security guards.
Trade union Solidarity, which wants a 9% wage hike, described the new Eskom offer as a “move towards the right direction”.
The negotiations are expected to resume on Wednesday.
Fin24 earlier reported that the wage talks got off to a bumpy start when unions accused Eskom of reneging on its earlier agreement to include "high-powered" members in its delegation.
NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said the talks already started on Tuesday morning, but they were "not happy with Eskom’s failure to honour its agreement with the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan to include at least two high-powered members in its delegation".
The talks between unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), Solidarity and the NUM were brokered by Gordhan last week, in a bid to avert a national crisis.
Mammburu said Eskom had brought division managers to the talks.* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER