NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

What to do?

2 May 2014, Posted in NUMSA News

Its day two. And, the heat is on…
Eskom once refused to negotiate with the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and wanted the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) to be present in negotiations, exclaimed a delegate.

Delegates at this year’s National Bargaining Conference’s (NBC) Eskom mission are fired up. They hot under the collar about the arbitration awards.

Disagreements are historic. They started when Eskom and the unions: Numsa, Solidarity and NUM deadlocked during 2013 negotiations.  At the time Eskom filed for determination of fair and reasonable increase at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) offices.

Numsa was demanding a 29% salary increase and a total of 44.3% overall increase whilst Eskom offered only 5.6% salary increase and an overall increase of 6.3%. The CCMA commissioner had to prove the reasonableness and fairness of the demands. After witnesses cross examination and submission of motivational evidence the commissioner ruled in favour of Eskom.

All three unions were unhappy with the arbitration outcome. There was an indication that NUM would challenge it. Instead, during the 2013 negotiations it issued a letter stipulating that NUM was NOT intending to go on strike.
Now, in March 2014, delegates reflect and review the road they treaded. A delegate cries: “Let’s not follow NUM’ as NUM has a reputation of discarding the cause before the end of the fight.”

While another believes:  “Not challenging the award would open a can of worms as other unions will want to destroy Numsa because of its action and members would lose faith in the organisation.”

Delegates try and break the deadlock and consider “what if” scenarios stakeholders might pursue. What if Numsa does not review the arbitration award, the say? What if Eskom management uses the review process as a stumbling block to the negotiations, they ask.

Delegates opt for legal advice and the chief negotiator is tasked to pursue this with Numsa’s legal department. At the time of going to press the matter remains with this department.