18 June 2013 – An agreement has been entered into between Eskom, employers and labour at the Medupi and Kusile project sites. The goal of this agreement is to stabilise labour relations on site and expedite delivery of the two new coal fired power stations totalling some 9.6 GW. This new agreement comes into effect after an extensive negotiation process over the past few weeks.
“This is an innovative and far-reaching agreement which commits all the partners – Eskom, contractors and labour – to work together to deliver Medupi and Kusile and provide the new capacity needed to support growth and development for South Africa,” Eskom CEO, Brian Dames, says. Where only contractors and labour were previously signatories to the project labour agreements at Kusile and Medupi, the new partnership agreement includes Eskom as a signatory.
Paul O’Flaherty, Eskom’s finance director and head of group capital, says, “Eskom is taking a much more active role in the labour relations on the project sites, and we are working with employers and labour to ensure that workers are fairly treated and that we can improve productivity and focus on delivery.”
The partnership agreement will enable the finalisation of new, site-specific agreements at Medupi and Kusile which will replace the current policies and agreements. However, the new agreement does not replace existing industry forums and bargaining structures. The parties have agreed on a process to implement the provisions of the agreement. This includes establishment of partnership forums within which any outstanding substantive issues can be resolved.
Among the provisions of the partnership agreement are: A minimum wage for all hourly paid contractor employees and standardised pay rates within each company, across companies and within the same industries. The contractors must ensure that pay scales are applied consistently. A new central wage bureau will be put in place to aid standardisation. The parties are to appoint a task team to deal with the relevant skills development and training needs for employees and employers on site.