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COSATU Today | News
ESKOM AND UNIONS TO SIGN AGREEMENT
JOHANNESBURG 13 August 2009 Sapa
Eskom and unions representing its workers are nearing an agreement that will avoid possible strike action, the public utility said on Thursday.
"We`ve found each other as parties," said Eskom spokesman Fani Zulu.
He said the wording of an agreement was being thrashed out and that it was expected to be signed on Monday.
Zulu said unions had agreed to a 10.5 percent wage increase.
However, a lasting agreement on the contentious issue of a housing subsidy has again been put off until a later time.
"We`ve agreed on a process for going forward," said Zulu.
Unions were demanding a R5000 housing subsidy and wanted a settlement on the question to be part of any labour agreement.
Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans has described it as the "make or break issue".
Zulu said the utility had not committed to any specific housing subsidy but was willing to promise "an agreement to look at issues of housing at Eskom".
He said the affected parties would "put together a working organisation which will have equal representation from Eskom and unions".
Kleynhans said, however, that a committee would not be enough and union members wanted clear time frames for a housing subsidy`s implementation.
"The agreement must give assurances about when the housing subsidy will be implemented," he said.
"We will only sign an agreement that stipulates that."
Zulu said time frames would be in place and that after the committee agreed on a plan, Eskom intended to implement it in December.