Eskom and union deal averts strike
ESKOM and unions representing its workers reached an agreement this week that will avoid possible strike action.
“We have widely consulted with our members on these proposals and they have agreed,” National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) negotiator Paris Mashego said in a statement on Thursday.
“We will have an agreement in place to be signed by next week,” he said
“We’ve found each other as parties,” confir med Eskom spokesman Fanie Zulu.
Mashego and Zulu said the final details were being thrashed out and that the agreement was expected to be signed on Monday.
The NUM, Solidarity and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa have accepted a 10.5 percent wage increase.
However, a lasting agreement on a housing subsidy has been put off until a later time.
“We’ve agreed on a process for going forward,” said Zulu.
Unions were demanding a R5 000 housing subsidy and wanted a settlement on the question to be part of any labour agreement.
Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans described it as the “make or break issue”.
Mashego said the unions and Eskom had agreed to “a process leading to the finalisation and implementation of a housing policy and allowance before December 1”.
Zulu said the utility had not committed to any specific housing subsidy, but was willing to promise “an agreement to look at issues of housing at Eskom”.
He said the affected parties would “put together a working group which will have equal representation from Eskom and unions”.
Kleynhans said, however, that a committee would not be enough and union members wanted clear time frames for implementing a housing subsidy. “The agreement must give assurances about when the housing subsidy will be implemented We will only sign an agreement that stipulates that,” he said.
A deadline for this year was important, he said. – Sapa