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Unions reject Eskom's 4.7% increase offer, says Numsa

It's been reported that the NUM, Numsa and Solidarity have put a counter-offer on the table but have not disclosed the figure at this stage.

FILE: Eskom offices at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says labour unions have rejected Eskom’s wage offer of 4.7% with negotiations expected to resume on Thursday.

It's been reported that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Numsa and Solidarity have put a counter-offer on the table but have not disclosed the figure at this stage.

The power utility initially said no one at Eskom would receive a salary hike this year citing financial difficulties.

The decision prompted industrial action last week.

At the same time, Eskom has warned that there's a high risk of load shedding on Wednesday evening.

NUMSA WON'T GIVE DETAILS OF COUNTERPROPOSAL

Numsa says it won't give details of their counterproposal as the situation is delicate.

The NUM, Numsa and Solidarity met with Eskom on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the utility's four-year agreement.

The offer includes a wage increase of 4.7% for this year and an inflation-based increase for every year thereafter.

Numsa's Irvin Jim says unions cannot reveal their position just yet.

“But it would be wrong to talk to our workers via the media, it’s important for Eskom to respond. At an appropriate time, we will be able to communicate to yourselves [media] what has been our bargaining strategy having reflected the position of Eskom yesterday.”

Numsa says the trade unions involved in the Eskom wage negotiations have consolidated their demands and will now wait for the utility to respond to their latest counterproposal.

Jim says their unified position is not just about wages but also helping Eskom.

“We were not just focusing on wages, we have presented a comprehensive feedback to Eskom that basically deals with all Eskom challenges. And what we are grappling with is what must be done to fix Eskom’s balance sheet.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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