Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 02 September 2011 – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says South African national power utility Eskom’s ‘unilateral’ implementation of a two-year, 7% wage agreement amounts to a declaration of war.
“The NUM’s national shop steward council has resolved, and adopted a programme of action that includes lunch-hour pickets and marches to Megawatt Park which will culminate in a strike action against Eskom,” said spokesperson.
Fin24 reports that Eskom could not be reached for comment.
NUM chief negotiator Paris Mashego said the union planned to put up a fight. “We hope to put brakes on Eskom’s unilateralism. We hope to win and put the brakes on Eskom’s watering down of benefits and wages, and we are going to put up a big fight,” he added.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity have also rejected Eskom’s offer. The unions have been in negotiations with Eskom since April.
Solidarity said it thought an agreement was within reach last week after Eskom had made an informal wage offer of 8% and indicated that the housing allowance would increase significantly in the next three years. The union has now referred its wage dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
NUMSA said it was not a striking-frenzy union, but a strike could take place if it came to the push.