Unions to formally table wage response with Eskom at 14:00 meeting

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Members of the National Union of Mineworkers at Duvha power station. Photo: Deon Raath
Members of the National Union of Mineworkers at Duvha power station. Photo: Deon Raath

Unions are scheduled to meet with Eskom at the Central Bargaining Forum (CBF) at 14:00 on Tuesday afternoon, where labour is expected to formally table a mandate from membership on the power utility's latest wage offer.

This comes after two weeks of protest disruptions amid a wage talk deadlock that hindered maintenance work at Eskom stations and plunged South Africa into Stage 6 load shedding.

After an intervention from Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan last week, the unions returned to the CBF to resume wage talks.

READ | Stage 6 load shedding to resume on Monday afternoon, Eskom announces

Eskom revised its wage offer upwards twice, from zero to 5%, and then finally to 7%. Amid the deadlock, the National Union of Mineworkers demanded a 10% wage increase and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa demanded a 12%. Solidarity made a demand of 5.9%.

Solidarity security secretary in the public sector Helgard Cronjé told Fin24 that unions were canvassing membership for a mandate on whether to accept or reject Eskom's offer and the parties would meet at the CBF in the afternoon.

READ | If Eskom strikers aren't punished, it will set a dangerous precedent, expert warns

"Unions and Eskom are meeting at 14:00 this afternoon to discuss the mandates and hopefully to finalise negotiations," said Cronjé.

None of the unions have claimed responsibility for the protest disruptions.

Eskom, which provides an essential service where labour cannot down tools, says it will not budge from its policy to punish those who disrupted operations.

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