This project seeks to engage in auto sector specific research in a comparative transnational perspective by drawing on existing global value chain research. Furthermore, the project aims at initiating a transnational dialogue on new organizing approaches and on building (transnational) solidarity along the auto value chain.
The global economic crisis is characterized by massive socio-economic disparities. Oxfam’s (2016) report entitled: An Economy for the 1% concludes that 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people at the bottom half of humanity. Global food insecurity is also a major concern. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (2012), 868 million people in the world were chronically undernourished in 2012, and 1.52 billion people did not have sufficient food to meet their basic nutritional requirements. This figure declined slightly to 805 million by 2014.
This paper explores the causes of the crisis in South Africa’s trade union movement. It argues that the impasse is multi-layered, and can be attributed to both structural changes in the country’s political economy and organizational challenges. The issues discussed are related to global debates on the state of the left, and what forms of political agency are required to revive labour movements. Some of the key recommendations include: strengthening worker control; rebuilding social movement unionism; reviving autonomous education structures; and advocating for heterodox macro-economic frameworks
The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Johannesburg invites you and members of your organisation to
a Public Dialogue on powerful Trade Unions: South African drivers of regional economic growth?
South African trade unions played a key role in the struggle against apartheid. They mobilized workers from various racial backgrounds, and united them in order to challenge subjugation in the authoritarian apartheid political economy. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) South Africa will be partnering with the South African Labour Bulletin (SALB) and the Society Work and Development Institute (SWOP) to launch a book on the history of the Food and Canning Workers Union (FCWU). It is authored by Jan Theron, former general secretary of FCWU.
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) will be partnering with the Global Labour University (GLU) at the University of Witwatersrand to run a new short course for South African trade unionists. The aim of the course is to help participants develop capacity for critical thinking and to engage analytically about labour and labour related issues
The Young Independents annually profiles inspiring South Africans that are challenging and changing the game, one action at a times. They refer to these inspiring South Africans as Disruptors.
Mr Khwezi Mabasa, Programme Manager at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – South Africa Office was identified as one of the 100 young South African Disruptors 2016.
The fragmentation of the trade union movement has incited debates in broader society and academia. Most of the views have been informed by superficial analysis, which is mainly driven by political expediency or poorly researched journalistic narratives. These accounts place emphasis on narrow factionalism and rhetorical public statements. There is a need to transcend these narratives, and develop a fact-based political debate on systemic causes of the crisis, and what opportunities these present for developing alternative models of trade union activism.
The South African Labour Bulletin and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) will provide a platform for this engagement by hosting a discussion on: “New labour formations: Unity, cohesion or fragmentation”?
The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University, which includes the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), will host its Vuyisile Mini Winter School 2016 in Grahamstown on 13-16 July 2015.
This winter school, which is named in honour of a hero of the South African labour movement and liberation struggle, will be aimed at trade union office bearers in the Eastern Cape. It will create a space in which all participants can engage critically with social democratic ideas, particularly as those pertain to the linking of social policy and labour market interventions.
On May 18, the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit,(NALSU) Labour Studies Seminar series, in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and KMMR , will be launching a book on the crisis within the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), both edited by Vishwas Satgar.