Numsa and Eskom reached deadlock on wage talks

Negotiations at the Central Bargaining Forum in electricity utility Eskom on wage increases and other conditions of employment have reached a stalemate after Numsa and three other major unions rejected the management offer of 4% increase.

Numsa, in conjunction with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Solidarity have declared a dispute on the minimum service agreement to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The parties have been locked in intensive talks for the past week over issues which related to, among others the minimum service agreement. Eskom is regarded as an essential services and employees in most service areas were not allowed to engage in strike actions.

In 2005, the unions had submitted a demand to formulate a new minimum service agreement which sought to change that and resolve disagreements on shift workers and maintenance services, but the company rejected the draft agreement on minimum services. The management, instead unilaterally replaced it with a new draft proposal.

Eskom management meanwhile has remained stuck on its 4% offer while negotiations focused largely on outstanding issues. The unions demanded 15% across the board, Phutas Tseki chairperson of the shop stewards council said. The next round of talks resume on May 28, 2007.

For further information contact:

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Cell phone: 082 9407116

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