Business: Solidarity Has Great Hopes for Eskom Wage Negotiations
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The trade union Solidarity as well as other trade unions represented at Eskom will today commence salary negotiations at the electricity supplier. In terms of the demands that Solidarity handed over to Eskom earlier this month, the trade union is calling for a 16% salary increase across the board. Amid the current skills shortages, Solidarity is expecting large adjustments in order to give experienced employees the necessary recognition and to retain their services. Negotiations that took place at Eskom two years ago posed huge challenges and Solidarity predicts that the current worldwide economic crisis as well as Eskom’s plans for expansion will definitely play a role in the negotiations.
Apart from Solidarity’s call for wage increases, the trade union is also demanding a housing allowance of R5 000 for all employees.
According to Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans, the trade union’s demands were determined by the current level of consumer inflation, taking into consideration the current unstable economy as well as a comparison between the salaries allocated to employees and to management with the previous salary increases. “According to a survey that Solidarity conducted regarding the increases for Eskom management, they had previously received increases of almost 25% while employees had to be satisfied with an average increase of only 8%,” Kleynhans said today.
Solidarity is also demanding that a one-year agreement be concluded with Eskom. The wage agreement negotiated in the coming weeks has to be implemented by 1 July this year. Solidarity is insisting that the wage increase should only apply until 30 June next year. A two-year wage agreement is currently in force at Eskom.
Solidarity has meanwhile asked Eskom to make its financial statements available to the trade union.
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