Labour Beyond Cosatu

Mapping the Rupture in South Africa’s Labour Landscape
Editor(s): ,
  • Publication Date: July 2017
  • Dimensions and Pages: 234 x 156mm; 304 pp; Soft cover
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-053-4
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-77614-151-7
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-150-0
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 350.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 40.00

Labour Beyond Cosatu goes well beyond the previous volumes of the Taking Democracy Seriously project in some of its sorties, and is not shy of pulling its punches in what is now a highly charged environment. Deeply sympathetic to the project of organised labour yet highly critical of its present trajectory, this collection deserves to attract wide attention internationally as well as domestically.
Roger Southall, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

South Africa’s working class movement is still powerful, but pressurised and polarised due to major shifts in its structure, base and forms of struggle. This timely, rigorously researched collection draws attention to key developments within Cosatu and beyond … Highly recommended.
Lucien van der Walt, Professor of Sociology, Rhodes University, South Africa

Labour Beyond Cosatu is the fifth publication in the Taking Democracy Seriously project which started in 1994 and comprises of surveys of the opinions, attitudes and lifestyles of members of trade unions affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). This survey was conducted shortly before the elections in 2014, in a context in which government economic policy had not fundamentally shifted to the left and the massacre of 34 mineworkers at Marikana by the South African Police Service had fundamentally shaken the labour landscape, with mineworkers not only striking against their employers, but also their union, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Cosatu leaders had started to openly criticise levels of corruption in the State, while a ‘tectonic shift’ took place when the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) was expelled from Cosatu at the end of 2014.

In its analysis of the survey, Labour Beyond Cosatu shows that Cosatu, fragmented and weakened through fissures in its alliance with the African National Congress, is no longer the only dominant force influencing South Africa’s labour landscape. Contributors also examine aspects such as changing patterns of class; workers’ incomes and their lifestyles; workers’ relationship to civil society movements and service delivery protests; and the politics of male power and privilege in trade unions.

The trenchant analysis in Labour Beyond Cosatu exhibits fiercely independent and critically engaged labour scholarship, in the face of shifting alliances currently shaping the contestation between authoritarianism and democracy.

CONTENTS
PREFACE Andries Bezuidenhout and Malehoko Tshoaedi
CHAPTER 1 Democracy and the rupture in South Africa’s labour landscape Andries Bezuidenhout and Malehoko Tshoaedi
CHAPTER 2 Research in a highly charged environment: Taking Democracy Seriously, 2014 Ntsehiseng Nthejane, Sandla Nomvete, Boitumelo Malope and Bianca Tame
CHAPTER 3 The social character of labour politics Ari Sitas
CHAPTER 4 Is Cosatu still a working-class movement? Andries Bezuidenhout, Christine Bischoff and Ntsehiseng Nthejane
CHAPTER 5 Labour aristocracy or marginal labour elite? Cosatu members’ income, other sources of livelihood and household support Christine Bischoff and Bianca Tame
CHAPTER 6 The politics of alliance and the 2014 elections Janet Cherry, Nkosinathi Jikeka and Tumi Malope
CHAPTER 7 Cosatu, service delivery, civil society and the politics of community Janet Cherry
CHAPTER 8 The politics of male power and privilege in trade unions: Understanding sexual harassment in Cosatu Malehoko Tshoaedi
CHAPTER 9 Internal democracy in Cosatu: Achievements and challenges Johann Maree
CHAPTER 10 Public sector unions in Cosatu Christine Bischoff and Johann Maree
CHAPTER 11 Are Cosatu’s public sector unions too powerful? Johann Maree and Christine Bischoff
CHAPTER 12 Labour beyond Cosatu, other federations and independent unions Andries Bezuidenhout

Andries Bezuidenhout is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pretoria
Malehoko Tshoaedi is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pretoria.

Labour Beyond Cosatu goes well beyond the previous volumes of the Taking Democracy Seriously project in some of its sorties, and is not shy of pulling its punches in what is now a highly charged environment. Deeply sympathetic to the project of organised labour yet highly critical of its present trajectory, this collection deserves to attract wide attention internationally as well as domestically.
Roger Southall, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

South Africa’s working class movement is still powerful, but pressurised and polarised due to major shifts in its structure, base and forms of struggle. This timely, rigorously researched collection draws attention to key developments within Cosatu and beyond … Highly recommended.
Lucien van der Walt, Professor of Sociology, Rhodes University, South Africa

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