Eskom, unionin wage talks

TRADE union Solidarity is in wage talks with Eskom at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, the union says.

TRADE union Solidarity is in wage talks with Eskom at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, the union says.

The union had held talks with commissioners of the CCMA in a separate session last Wednesday, after which Eskom and the CCMA held a session on Thursday and Friday.

Although joint mediation was initially scheduled to take place on Friday, the sessions were postponed to today and tomorrow, Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said onFriday.

Solidarity declared a wage dispute with Eskom last week, saying that wage negotiations between the electricity supplier and trade unions, including the National Union of Mineworkers and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, had "ground to a terminal halt".

Eskom was offering a 5,5percent wage increase while the workers wanted an increase of 18percent.

For the second and third year of the agreement, Eskom was offering an increase of inflation plus 1percent.

Solidarity said employees' demands for a housing allowancewere also creating "a lot of tension" in the talks.

"Promises of an improved housing allowance for employees have been made for several years, but they have not come to fruition.

"This is while management received a once-off 'cost to living' payment of R60000 in 2009." - Sapa

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