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Eskom promises it has no plans to retrench 500 white maintenance workers

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    Nat Quinn
    There is no plan or desire to get rid of 500 white male employees at Eskom, the state-owned power utility has said.
    “Eskom wishes to reassure the public that there are neither plans nor decision to retrench any employees, whatever their gender or race,” it said in a statement on Friday.
    This comes after Solidarity informed media on Thursday that Eskom wants to shed the staff — most of them maintenance workers — as part of its Employment Equity Plan for 2023 to 2025.
    “Retrenchments in South Africa are regulated by Section 189 (3) of the Labour Relations Act of 1995, with strict requirements on appropriate consultations with all the relevant stakeholders, including the recognised trade unions,” Eskom stated.
    It said consultations must spell out the reasons and conditions under which retrenchments can be allowed.
    “Discrimination based on race or gender do not qualify as a criterion for retrenchment,” said Eskom.
    Eskom said the document Solidarity refers to is part of internal consultations on employment equity with trade unions.
    “Amongst others [it] seek[s] to verify information for correctness, solicit inputs on targets as well as the required affirmative action measures,” said Eskom.
    “As per consultation process, all parties are afforded an opportunity to engage, clarify, suggest alternatives before final decisions are taken.”
    Eskom chastised Solidarity for its decision to go public with partial details of what was being discussed when nothing had been decided yet.
    “It is rather unfortunate, opportunistic, and unprofessional for Solidarity, or any party to the confidential internal consultations, to opt to cause unnecessary panic and fear, creating sensation among our staff and in the media before allowing the internal processes to make the appropriate decision,” said Eskom.
    “Eskom’s transformation agenda and employment practices are guided by our values, operational requirements, and the country’s labour laws rather than race,” it said.
    “We are committed to achieving diversity, equity and inclusion in a responsible and sustainable manner.”
    Eskom assured it understood people’s concerns regarding skill retention at the power utility.
    “Eskom acknowledges the concerns of all South Africans regarding the current energy crisis,” it said.
    “We have put in place measures to bolster the critical skills required to improve plant performance.”
    This includes recruiting retired former employees and other specialist skills that can help resolve South Africa’s energy crisis.
    “These are South Africans of all hues and gender,” Eskom said.


    Eskom promises it has no plans to retrench 500 white maintenance workers (mybroadband.co.za)

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