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Legalism in the South African trade union movement: 1979-1988.

Pandit, Shereen (1995) Legalism in the South African trade union movement: 1979-1988. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This study seeks to deepen an understanding of the response of the emergent non-racial trade union movement in South Africa to the statutory system of industrial relations created by the state in 1979. Both the legal issues relating to the trade union movement and the political issues surrounding the development of the emergent union movement, have been exhaustively canvassed in the past decade. However, a major lacuna in exists in such writing with regard to how the trade union movement has responded to the new dispensation in the past decade. The primary concern of the thesis is to fill that gap by examining the nature the new union movement's response to the post-1979 system and attempting to establish how and why that response developed. This concern leads me to contribute to the debate on the existence (or otherwise) of legalism in the new union movement in South Africa in the decade under review and to seek to identify the reasons for its existence or absence. After establishing a brief historical/political framework for the thesis, the new unions and the new dispensation are described. This is followed by an examination of the main procedures and institutions of the new dispensation and the response of the trade unions to these. It is argued that these procedures and institutions themselves helped to shape the response of the new unions to the new dispensation. Since political factors had a crucial bearing on trade union affairs, the thesis also focuses on the struggle of different political currents for hegemony over the new unions and the extent to which this conditioned the response of the new unions to the new dispensation. It concludes that political factors were of great significance in determining the nature and extent of the new unions' interaction with the new dispensation and the law generally. Finally an attempt is made to assess the implications of the new unions' interaction with the new dispensation, for their overall development and for the achievement of their goals.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations, South African Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1384

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