Trade unions and democracy in South Africa: Union organizational challenges and solidarities in a time of transformation

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Buhlungu, S. ; Brookes, M. ; Wood, G. (2008)

Based on a nationwide survey, this article focuses on the perceptions of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) members on two of the central issues that have dominated debates on the South African labour movement: the advisability of COSATU's Alliance with the African National Congress (ANC) and the extent of internal union democracy. The survey revealed that the ANC-Alliance continues to enjoy mass support, while internal democracy remains robust. At the same time, the federation faces the challenges of coping with — and contesting — neoliberal reforms, retaining and re-energizing rank and file in the post-apartheid era, and in reaching out to potential members in the informal sector and other areas of insecure work.
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