Two unions demand 15% wage increase from Eskom

Utility warns of potential disruptions to power supply as talks kick off

Steam rises at sunrise from the Lethabo power station owned by Eskom, which is heading into wage increase talks with unions this week. File photo.
Steam rises at sunrise from the Lethabo power station owned by Eskom, which is heading into wage increase talks with unions this week. File photo.
Image: Siphiwe Sibeko

Two of the biggest labour unions at Eskom are pushing for a double-digit percentage wage increase, arguing that if there is money to burn diesel and source energy from independent power producers, workers should get the increase.

This comes ahead of Tuesday's start of wage increase negotiations between the power utility and three recognised unions the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and Solidarity.

Both NUM and Numsa are going into negotiations making salary increase demands of 15% and looking for one-year agreements, while Solidarity is asking for 9.5% as Eskom braces itself for tense engagements.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said the union was demanding a 15% wage increase across the board while “well aware of the challenges faced by Eskom” but wanting “the apartheid wage gap to be closed”. 

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