Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe makes his way to receive a memorandum of demands from protesting employees at the Megawatt Park in Sunninghill; workers are protesting against the company’s decision not to increase wages this year. Johannesburg. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) 898 14.06.2018

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) on Friday rejected Eskom's decision to engage in an arbitration process on the current wage dispute with workers unions, saying that such a decision was made without consulting them.

Numsa, the National Union of Mineworkers, and Solidarity are currently embroiled in a dispute over freezing of wage increases by Eskom this year. Wage negotiations collapsed last week and unions walked out, and the matter had been referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). 

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said all the unions have elected to do a referral of a dispute of interest to the CCMA.

"Numsa, NUM and Solidarity have unanimously agreed to do a referral of a dispute of interest which should be conciliated. We have not been consulted on any arbitration process and we regard this open unilateralism as nothing less than the old union bashing attitude," Hlubi-Majola said.

"We expect like any other dispute that this dispute will be conciliated and a certificate of non-resolution should be issued. In case a settlement is not reached, and all our organisational rights are reserved."

Eskom obtained a court interdict on Thursday night to prevent workers striking and disrupting both power and coal supplies. 

The power utility said on Friday commenced with Stage 1 load shedding, saying this will continue until 9pm due to the impact of the current protest action by some Eskom employees at various sites.

- African News Agency (ANA)