Independent Online

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Unions accuse Gordhan of provoking workers at Eskom, saying comments have potential to collapse negotiation process

Unions accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of provoking workers at Eskom, saying comments have potential to collapse negotiation process. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Unions accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of provoking workers at Eskom, saying comments have potential to collapse negotiation process. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Published Jun 29, 2022

Share

Johannesburg - Power utility Eskom has confirmed that a number of their employees have returned to work on Wednesday.

This followed an intervention by government through Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in encouraging talks between unions representing disgruntled workers and Eskom’s management.

Story continues below Advertisement

“I can confirm that many employees are peacefully returning to work and that there are no incidents of protest reported so far today. The details of any wage offer will be made known on Friday when the wage negotiations resume,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

Gordhan said the reason the country had stage 6 load shedding on Tuesday was because of the illegal industrial action since June 22.

Speaking at an urgent media briefing on Tuesday, Gordhan said the industrial action had worsened the situation in terms of the production of electricity by Eskom.

“Some of you would have heard by now that, as a result of extensive negotiations between some of the unions and the management team at Eskom earlier on Tuesday, an agreement was reached on the wage settlements that those parties will collect themselves in due course. The agreement was also reached that these unions will be primarily involved in some of the activities and will encourage their members to return to work on Wednesday,” Gordhan said.

However, the unions slammed Gordhan’s utterances and said that no agreement had been reached between workers and Eskom management.

The leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), represented by the NUM General Secretary, William Mabapa, and the leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), represented by the Numsa General Secretary, Irvin Jim, said they noted the comments made by Gordhan.

Story continues below Advertisement

“We want to set the record straight. We have not come to any agreement with Eskom. An offer was tabled, which members are engaging on. For the next few days, we will be consulting members to find out if they accept the proposal or not. We will meet on Friday 1 July at the Central Bargaining Forum, where we will formally respond to it as parties,” said NUM national spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu.

“We demand that Gordhan withdraw his statement about an agreement immediately. He is jeopardising talks by pre-empting the outcome. Our members have not even had the chance to see the proposal, and he is rushing to the media to claim there is an agreement. We condemn him for his reckless behaviour. He is provoking workers at Eskom, and his comments have the potential to collapse this entire negotiation process,” Mammburu said.

[email protected]

Story continues below Advertisement

The Star

Share