Labour union NUM disputes average Eskom employee earns R737 000
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THE NATIONAL Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has disputed a claim made by power utility Eskom that the average employee earned R737 000.
The union said it was shocked by the claim, and the information provided by Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha was misleading.
“This amount is not a true reflection of the situation in Eskom. Eskom is divided into a bargaining unit (T4 to T13) and the non-bargaining unit (T14 to executives),” it said.
NUM and Solidarity are involved in a wage hike dispute with the power utility.
When responding to the wage increase the unions are demanding, Mantshantsha said the average employee earned R737 000.
Eskom has asked the unions to revise their demands, because it cannot afford the salary hikes.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and NUM want a 15% wage increase, while Solidarity wants a 9.5% increase.
“The NUM and other trade unions in Eskom are currently bargaining for the T4 to T13. The highest amount that can be earned by a bargaining unit employee is R650 460, while the lowest salary is R174 180. Eskom is intentionally misleading the public to gain public sympathy,” said NUM.
According to the union, the misleading information would make bargaining for salaries difficult.
“We have noticed this thread of misleading information from Eskom. This is a clear sign of negotiating in bad faith. If the average salary is at R737 000, that will only mean that the non-bargaining is earning a lot of money, which pushes the average up,” it said.
The union said they acknowledge that not every employee in a non-bargaining unit earned a large salary.
“Most of the black professionals are earning less than their white counterparts due to the apartheid wage gap that is still in existence in Eskom. We are calling for Eskom to immediately close the apartheid wage gap in all categories,” it said.
The union said it believed that their demands were reasonable and achievable.
“We maintain that there is money in Eskom, and the money is being used to fund corrupt activities. That money is the labour of our members, and our members deserve a reasonable share,” it said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE