A profile of unregistered union members in Durban

Webster, E.C.
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The role and potential of trade unions among African workers has moved over the last five years from a peripheral to a central issue in industrial relations in S.A. Government attitudes have changed from a determination to exclude African trade unions by promoting an alternat. in-plant committee structure, to the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into Labour Legislation with a clear indication on the part of the Chairman that trade unionism is a right for all workers (1). Some employer associations have chanqed from outriaht hostility to support in principle for the right of African workers to negotiate on the same basis as non-Africans (2). Although the antagonism or indifference of the registered trade union movement continues, the decision of TUCSA in 1973 to allow African trade unions to affiliate, signals a growing awareness among the more far-sighted registered trade union leadership that the future of the trade union movement lies with Coloured and African workers (3). The growing internationalization of industrial relations in S.A. through the publication of employers "codes of conduct" as a response to the increasing pressure on foreign investors to withdraw, is further evidence of this change (4).
African Studies Seminar series. Paper presented September 1978
Labor unions. South Africa