Friday, 25 June 2021: After extensive engagements at the Central Bargaining Forum since the start of the wage talks during May 2021, Eskom has exercised its right and made a decision to implement its final 1.5% basic wage increase and changes to the conditions of service offer with effect from 01 July 2021.
This decision has been formally communicated to the three recognized trade unions; the National Union of Mineworkers, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Solidarity.
Eskom’s offer is dependent on the efficiencies and savings realised from reviewing certain elements of employee benefits where there are excesses. Eskom has identified possible adjustments in the overtime, travel and transfer benefits, among others. These adjustments will also be implemented with effect from 01 July 2021.
This will enable management to better protect jobs at Eskom, address and manage the risk to the organisation’s sustainability, allowing Eskom to play its critical role of supplying electricity to the South African economy and in the public interest.
“Colleagues, as proud, caring and committed South Africans, we cannot allow a dispute over wages to compromise our national interest and hold hard working South Africans and their families hostage, as a result,” said Eskom group chief executive André de Ruyter in a statement to employees. “When Eskom Guardians keep the lights burning in South Africa, and electricity supplied to crucial medical facilities, we are playing our part in ensuring that hospitals and businesses can operate, save lives and get South Africans back to work.” Eskom urges all its employees and labour unions to put the national interest and respect for the rule of law first.
The wage talks ended on 2 June 2021, with Eskom declaring a dispute when it could not reach any agreement with the trade unions. No resolution could be reached at the conciliation and mediation process held on 10 June 2021 at the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) head office.
The following day Eskom received notification that organised labour had referred the dispute to the CCMA for arbitration. The parties are still waiting for the arbitration process.
Eskom would like to remind all stakeholders that the generation, distribution and transmission of electricity are classified as essential services. Eskom employees are therefore legally prohibited from participation in unlawful industrial action.