Dr Pauline Dibben is Reader in Employment Relations, Management School, University of Sheffield, Geoffrey Wood is Professor of Human Resource Management, Management School, University of Sheffield, and Kamel Mellahi is Professor of Strategic Management, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.
The Political Economy of Work and Employment
Is social movement unionism still relevant? The case of the South African federation COSATU
Article first published online: 22 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Industrial Relations Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Industrial Relations Journal
Volume 43, Issue 6, pages 494–510, November 2012
How to Cite
Dibben, P., Wood, G. and Mellahi, K. (2012), Is social movement unionism still relevant? The case of the South African federation COSATU. Industrial Relations Journal, 43: 494–510. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2338.2012.00683.x
- Issue published online: 22 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 22 NOV 2012
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.