Trade union solidarity threatened legal action against a proposed plan of using government employees’ pension in order to cut the 450 billion debt burden of Eskom. Solidarity stated it must be stopped as it would be in breach of the public investment corporation’s mandate. No court documents have been filled as yet, although the union has started a legal process.
Solidarity’s legal process started after the congress of South African Trade Unions suggested a plan to create a “special purpose finance vehicle” which involved, what is called a social compact between government, the PIC, the development Bank of southern African and the industrial Development Corporation to bring Eskom’s debt down.
This proposal, which included 26 other points to assist the struggling power utility, was a basis for talks between government, business and unions. Solidarity voices its concerns with the trustees of the Government Employees Pension Funds (GEPF) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). The PIC invests on behalf of the GEPF and some other funds. It manages over R2 Trillion in assets. GEPF said it had not been consulted about the plan and the PIC has not yet commented.
Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann, stated that “It is not in the interest of the workers to fund bankrupt entities” and he also added that Union;s plan may include obtaining a court interdict.
He later stated Solidarity’s main goal is not going to court but to find a solution to “this bad idea”. He continues by saying that “Using pensioners’ money to bail out Eskom will be a major mistake. Workers should not accept the controversial to fund Eskom from the GEPF.
Background of Solidarity
The solidarity of today dates back to 22 June 1902 therefore the solidarity has more than 110 years’ experience in South Africa’s labour market. In 1913 the trade union was named Mineworkers’ Union, in 2001 the MWU changed to MWU-Solidarity and since 2002 the trade union has been known as Solidarity.
The main function is Solidarity is to protect its members in the work place and Solidarity does this though its labour services department who protects thousands of collection and individual members in many different industries across the country. For more information on Solidarity please click here