07/06/2018 07:01 SAST | Updated 07/06/2018 07:01 SAST

Strike Looms At Eskom Over Zero Percent Wage Increase

Eskom has offered no pay increase to employees, angering unions.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Steam rises from the cooling towers of Matla Power Station, a coal-fired power plant operated by Eskom in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, May 20, 2018.

Eskom employees are threatening to strike as a second round of wage negotiations failed. According to Business Day, unions have been offered no pay increase by Eskom. Eskom reportedly has also not softened its stance on other demands, like maternity leave and housing.

The unions reportedly said they were prepared to "physically remove" Eskom's top management and embark on an unprotected strike. They are reportedly essential-service workers who are not allowed to strike legally.

The Kusile power station had to be evacuated in mid-May after a labour dispute turned violent, Business Day reported at the time.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has also expressed concern that the new Eskom board plans to suspend the recognition agreement with unions in preparation for privatisation, Mining Review reported. Eskom is technically insolvent, according to its recent unaudited financial results.

All agreements with the NUM and other unions have reportedly been suspended for now to appease lenders and investors. This is what led Eskom to offer a 0 percent increase to workers.

In Durban, Eskom workers belonging to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will protest next week over the "provocative" 0 percent increase, IOL reported.