Eskom Group Executive for Human Resources Elsie Pule says the utility has reserved its right to discipline employees who participated in recent unlawful strike action.

The utility on Wednesday declared a dispute with trade unions National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity over the precondition that NUM and NUMSA introduced as part of the wage negotiations.

Last week at a meeting convened through the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) the three recognised trade unions all in principle agreed to Eskom’s three-year wage proposal and conditions of employment where bargaining unit employees would see a salary adjustment of 7.5% in 2018/19 and 7% in 2019/20 and 7% in 2020/21, an annual cost of living (CPI) adjustment to their housing allowance as well as a once-off cash payment of R10 000.

However, at the time NUM and NUMSA introduced a precondition that Eskom should not discipline employees who took part in the July/August unprotected strike and the power utility says it could not agree to this precondition.

The utility does not agree with the precondition because of the nature of the strike action and the inconvenience caused.

According to the utility NUM and NUMSA embarked on unlawful strike action which included various acts of criminality, including alleged acts of sabotage and destruction of property. The industrial action led to the power system being constrained and rotational loadshedding for three days, negatively impacting the economy.

“Eskom reserves its right to follow the disciplinary process in line with the company’s Disciplinary Code and Procedure,” Eskom Group Executive for Human Resources Elsie Pule said.

“In an effort to bring the process to a conclusion, Eskom has referred a mutual interest dispute to the CCMA. We remain positive that the process will be expeditiously resolved,” she said.


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