Is Social Movement Unionism Still Relevant? The Case of the South African Federation COSATU

17 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2012

See all articles by Pauline Dibben

Pauline Dibben

University of Sheffield

Geoffrey Wood

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Kamel Mellahi

The University of Sheffield; Loughborough University - Management School

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

Is adopting a social movement role the most effective organisational strategy for organised labour or is it little more than an ideal, in an age of austerity and union defensiveness? This article draws on a national survey of Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) members to test perceptions of union activities and finds that COSATU unions largely embrace a social movement role. However, in the context of insecurity, unions need to address the central challenge of declining formal sector employment and precarious jobs.

Suggested Citation

Dibben, Pauline and Wood, Geoffrey and Mellahi, Kamel, Is Social Movement Unionism Still Relevant? The Case of the South African Federation COSATU (November 2012). Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 43, Issue 6, pp. 494-510, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2179760 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2338.2012.00683.x

Pauline Dibben

University of Sheffield ( email )

17 Mappin Street
Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DT
United Kingdom

Geoffrey Wood

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT
United Kingdom
0114 22 23346 (Phone)

Kamel Mellahi

The University of Sheffield ( email )

Sheffield S, S1 4DT
United Kingdom

Loughborough University - Management School ( email )

Great Britain

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