We’re ready for strike – Eskom

[miningmx.com] — Power generating utility Eskom said on Tuesday that its ready should its 16 000 workers decide to go on a strike over wages.

“Should the strike go ahead, Eskom will implement contingency measures to minimise the impact of the strike to limit the impact to security of supply,” it said in a statement.

Eskom workers, represented by three unions – Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) – originally demanded an 18% wage increment and a housing allowance while Eskom was offering 5.5%.

Eskom has since increased its wage offer to 7% while there are indications that the NUM might be willing to lower its demand.

“Eskom is currently in negotiation with labour unions over wage increases. We are currently in negotiations through the CCMA process,” Eskom said.

Management at the parastatal have come under renewed criticism from unions after Solidarity revealed that some directors could receive as much as R1m in performance share payouts.

Initial criticism came after Eskom returned to profitability and reported a R3.6bn surplus, where unions said they fail to see why the power utility could not offer a higher wage increment.

Solidarity said that Eskom’s financial statements made provision for the payment of performance shares to the value of R9.6m to directors and senior managers this month.

NUM has threatened to strike if they fail to reach a wage agreement with their employer.

Eskom has moved swiftly to deny that the strike would not hamper electricity supply during the FIFA Soccer World Cup underway in South Africa, the first to be held on the African continent.