THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) says that wage talks with Eskom have achieved some considerable progress, and a breakthrough may be on the cards by Friday.
The two unions issued a joint statement after two days of ‘tough’ but progressive wage talks on Tuesday.
“NUM and Numsa can inform the public and our members at Eskom that the bilateral meeting this morning has registered considerable progress. Negotiations have been able to break new ground with a new offer which will be tabled at the Central Bargaining Forum (CBF) on Friday,” the unions said in a statement.
“Given that Eskom has finally agreed to return to the negotiating table and there is a new offer which will be formally presented on Friday in the CBF, NUM and Numsa leadership are calling on our members at Eskom to give the process of negotiations a chance.”
This includes consultation processes with workers themselves on the new offer that is a product of negotiations between the two unions and Eskom over the past two days to unlock the deadlock.
“In light of these developments, we call on workers at Eskom to normalise the situation. We are calling on our members to give this process and the CBF meeting on Friday the necessary chance to settle the dispute,” the unions said.
Addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said Eskom has decided to return to the negotiating table to discuss a new wage deal with unions.
Gordhan said this is expected to see the unprotected strike at the power utility ending and result in the “de-escalation of load shedding”.
The wildcat strike at Eskom began last week on 22 June and has escalated since then.