South African unions protest over Eskom wage dispute

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A handful of workers protested at cash-strapped South African utility Eskom’s power plants on Wednesday, and labor unions warned that thousands of their members would march to Eskom’s headquarters on Thursday over an acrimonious wage dispute.

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) want Eskom to award salary increases of around 15 percent, but the utility has said it will not increase wages at all this year as it seeks to cut staff costs.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has made stabilizing state-owned firms such as Eskom a priority since he replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma in February, in an acknowledgment of the threat they pose to the country’s strained public finances.

The protests by unions…

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