NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said the issue of the benefits “is a deal breaker” in the negotiations.
“The changing of the conditions of employment is a deal breaker, as they were unilaterally changed by Eskom last year without an agreement with unions. Members want that to be reversed by Eskom and they say they won't sign any wage agreement [if the benefits aren't returned],” Mammburu said.
He said this was “a do or die matter” for their members.
Mammburu said they were not in favour of a staggered salary increase system as it would divide workers.
“Our stance is clear, we want Eskom to make one solid offer across the board,” Mammburu said.
Numsa national spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the issue of benefits was very important in these talks as workers, especially those at power stations, want to see those benefits returned.
“This is a fundamental issue for workers... this is something that affects workers at power stations,” Hlubi-Majola said.
She said this was a big issue as they were now no longer being paid transport allowances.
“Those are the issues that are keeping us from agreeing, until we can resolve those issues which are affecting a lot of field workers, we are going to have a problem,” Hlubi-Majola said.
The talks continue.