Arrogance from both Eskom and unions delayed talks over workers' wages

Clement Manyathela spoke to economist, Xhanti Payi, and energy economist, Lungile Mashele on this matter.

Picture: Eskom

Energy economist, Lungile Mashele is of the view that arrogance from both Eskom and the two unions - the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), delayed the parties from reaching an agreement on workers' wages.

Mashele was speaking with Clement Manyathela following recent strike action by the power utility's workers - over working conditions and pay, that contributed to the country being plunged into stage 6 load shedding - for the first time in nearly three years.

On Tuesday, Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan announced that the unions had agreed to a 7 percent salary increase for workers at Eskom.

Mashele, joined by economist Xhanti Payi, discussed, amongst other things, the salary variance of Eskom workers during 702's Listener's Choice feature.

What one also needs to look at is the culture between Eskom leadership and the unions that allows the Eskom leadership to walk away from wage negotiations. But also where labour tabled ridiculous proposals... Over and above that it's just the arrogance from both sides, both Eskom and both unions that have led to this point of imperial breakdown and finally, not taking accountability for their own staff...

Lungile Mashele, energy economist

When asked about how much Eskom workers are earning, Payi said salaries may vary with positions at the power utility.

At Eskom, there are very highly paid executives, of course the engineers, and then you have other people who are your general workers, plumbers and other people who don't get paid as much. The average therefore may disadvantage them because they may look like there are people who are rich who have savings and can waive through the high inflation that everyone is facing and so, the average is really bad...

Xhanti Payi, economist

Listen to the full interview below...

This article first appeared on 702 : Arrogance from both Eskom and unions delayed talks over workers' wages