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Are you willing to engage in wage negotiations with your employees to prevent an Eskom-style strike over the rising cost of living?

by , 12 April 2013
Eskom's strike woes continue. NUM members went on strike at Eskom three weeks ago over bonuses, and now the strike action has hit Eskom's Kusile plant, disrupting construction. The reason for this strike isn't clear, but based on previous strikes, it's likely to be the fact that the cost of living is increasing thanks to inflation putting up the prices of food, petrol and electricity - with salaries staying put. Here's how to minimise the hassle of wage negotiations if your employees also threaten to strike over wages.

 
Construction of Eskom's Kusile plant, due to start up next year, has been disrupted by an illegal strike, says Fin24.
 
The strike started this week and around 2,000 of Kusile's 15,000 workers were offsite yesterday, says Eskom chief executive Brian Dames.
 
A reason wasn't given, but it's also based on wage demands.
 
And while there are no guarantees, you can plan for the eventuality of a strike over wages, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
 
Because if you decide not to negotiate over wages, you can be sure you'll have a strike on your hands. 
 
That's why it's a good idea to engage your employees in wage negotiations. 
 
Do your research before you start wage negotiations!
 
For example, it's a good idea to conduct a fact finding exercise before you start the collective bargaining process or wage negotiation.
 
This way, you'll accurate facts on the true impact of rising food costs, petrol and electricity, which is often the reason employees demand a wage increase.
 
This will help you to formulate strong proposals that your employees are likely to understand and accept.
 
Especially as the main idea of wage negotiation is that you first listen to your employees' opinions regarding the increase and, after taking these opinions into account, you make the final decision on what the increase – if any – will be.
 
But what if your employees still threaten to strike over their wages?
 
Simply start the process with an offer that's fairly realistic and reasonably close to what you intend paying as increases, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
 
Because making 'ridiculous opening offers' only serves to delay and frustrate the process.
 
If all goes well, you'll be able to compromise and find a solution that keeps all parties happy – and prevent a strike.
 


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