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 Eskom Strike very likely

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PosOnderwerp: Eskom Strike very likely   Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:49 am

Aanhaling :
ohannesburg - An Eskom strike during the World Cup was still a possibility as the national power provider's negotiations with three trade unions ended in disagreement on Monday night.

A commissioner for the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had given Eskom until Wednesday 10:00 to consult its executive committee on the unions' revised demand of a nine percent increase and a R5 000 per month housing allowance per employee.

"They said they don't have a mandate to agree to it," said trade union Solidarity's chief negotiator Bennie Blignaut on Monday night.

"We have agreed to disagree."

Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) had initially demanded a 15% across the board increase and a housing allowance of R5 000.

The unions proposed a settlement offer of nine percent at the meeting on Monday.

"It was not our mandate, but it was an agreed settlement offer that we decided on earlier in the week," said Blignaut.

"We said give us nine percent and the housing allowance, then we would sign now, but they didn't want to do it," he said.

Eskom tabled a revised offer of an eight percent across the board increase on basic salary, a 5.6% increase to key allowances and a R12 000 once off payment per employee.

The R12 000 payment, which the company said would be ex-gratia (as a goodwill gesture), would be paid in two equal instalments, in July 2010 and July 2011.

Blignaut said Eskom's offer was linked to a new cost-to-company salary system that the power provider wanted to initiate next year.

"We're not even going to take that to our members," said Blignaut.

"The cost-to-company system is a whole new system that we have to go and explain to our members."

He said if Eskom failed to return with a new offer on Wednesday, the unions - who were still in agreement on the issue - would go on strike.

"It would be an unprotected strike, because they are essential services, but that is a chance we will have to take," said Blignaut.

He said the commissioner refused to issue a certificate for a dispute, even though the unions felt they had reached a deadlock.

"If they don't bring something to the table on Wednesday, he would issue the certificate," said Blignaut. He said the unions' demand went back to 15% after the meeting.

Eskom's human resources head Bhabhalazi Bulunga, who attended the negotiations at the CCMA's offices in Johannesburg, said the power utility's offer was "very reasonable" as it was well above the inflation rate.

"That is very generous in today's economic climate, and it comes on top of the other benefits our workers already enjoy," Bulunga said
.

http://www.fin24.com/Business/Eskom-talks-fail-strike-likely-20100621
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PosOnderwerp: Re: Eskom Strike very likely   Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:01 am

And this will cost them 2bn per year. Here comes the next reason for a big increase.

Lets see how far this goes for if it works and they get R5 000.00 allowence every employee gets it whether in a house or not.

Nice get house for free, get water for free, get electricity for free and now on top of that get housing allowence as well.

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PosOnderwerp: Eskom begs workers 'to put SA first'   Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:22 pm

Jul 01 2010 17:36 Sikonathi Mantshantsha

Johannesburg – Electricity provider Eskom on Thursday pleaded with its labour representatives to put the country first and ensure security of the supply of electricity.

"Really what the unions are asking for, we cannot afford," said Eskom's new CEO Brian Dames. He was referring to a wage dispute in which the company has offered a 8.5% wage increase and a R1 000/month housing allowance against a 9% increase and R2 500/month housing subsidy demand.

"Labour's demand will add approximately R1bn to what the regulator [National Energy Regulator - Nersa] has allowed us for wages," said Dames. He said Eskom had no intention of going back to Nersa to ask for higher tariffs in order to meet the labour demand.

Dames said any strike action will be illegal and compromise security of power supply, which is against the national interest. "All must act prudently, responsibly and in the national interest," said Dames.

All of Eskom's unions have rejected the offer, with two indicating they will be embarking on strike action from next week. Both the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) said they have already notified Eskom of their strike intention.

However, other than saying they have obtained legal opinion they have failed to state how any strike would pass the legality test. Solidarity has made a counter-proposal to Eskom's offer and gave the parastatal until Monday to respond.

Eskom insists any strike will be illegal in the absence of a minimum service agreement with unions. "Eskom has disciplinary processes in place. There will be consequences for any employees breaking the law," said Dames.

Dames found allies in the legal profession. Werksmans Attorneys labour law specialist and director Sandile July said any strike at Eskom would be illegal as the country was a signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) regulations. "Any strike at an essential organisation is illegal," said July. "Electricity by its nature is an essential commodity. They must first enter into a minimum service agreement to be able to strike."

July said the interdict Eskom obtained against unions in May was still valid.
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PosOnderwerp: Re: Eskom Strike very likely   Today at 11:54 am

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