Labour unions reportedly received the go-ahead on Tuesday from striking Eskom workers to accept the power utility’s offer for a 7% wage increase.
The wage deal is yet to be officially signed, as official statements from the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) and the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) have not been released. Eskom is also yet to comment.
The latest development comes after the strike of essential service workers at Eskom saw the power utility having no option but to implement Stage 6 load shedding last week, which plunged the country into its worst bout of rolling blackouts.
Members of Numsa and Num are expected to fully return to work from Wednesday.
A source from one of the unions confirmed to Moneyweb that the previously disgruntled workers have now agreed to a compromise. They had originally demanded a double-digit pay increase.
According to the source, apart from the 7% wage bump, workers have also welcomed a R400 housing allowance from the utility and Eskom’s decision to reinstate the conditions of service.
“We are going to sign, both unions are going to sign. Members have given the mandate to sign – it is true.”
Union members initially called for an above 10% increase in pay but after week-long protests and several rounds of negotiations workers are said to have agreed to the compromise.
“Remember in negotiations you compromise, so this is part of the compromise, we can’t hold one position,” said the source.
The union representative further told Moneyweb that union members have also asked Eskom to not take disciplinary action against workers who failed to pitch for work to perform their essential duties of keeping the country’s lights on.