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Vol 37 Number 2 June/July 2013

Vulnerable work in Gauteng

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Teaser:

The hospitality industry is one of the sectors where precarious work is common. While it is easy to get a job, it is also easy to get dismissed. Some workers have contracts whilst others have none. Wages are also so low that in some instances workers make more money from tips. Edward Webster, Attiyah Loonat, Debbie Budlender, Leilanie Williams and Mark Orkin investigate decent work in the hospitality sector in Gauteng Province in a recent research report whose snapshots are in this article.

Trade unions in Africa

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Teaser:

Outside of East and Southern Africa trade unions on the continent are still struggling to get to their feet. Bethuel Maserumule looks at current efforts to strengthen African trade unions.

Recent advances for working women in Australia

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Teaser:

A paid universal parental leave of 18 weeks recently won in Australia is a development that South Africa might want to emulate. Michael Walker traces how this was won in Australia.

Youth development in SA

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Youth development policies in South Africa need to take a broad approach that addresses problems such as youth unemployment instead of looking only at single issues as proposed by programmes such as youth wage subsidies, write Siphelo Ngcwangu and Andile Ndevu.

Cronin, Jim and Decolonisation

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In recent debates Jeremy Cronin and Irvin Jim have appeared to be serving different politics on the South African political landscape. While one is a state manager of the problems created by the capitalist crisis, the other is on the side of the poor and for the radical demands of the Freedom Charter, writes Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Media leaks

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After the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in February, there was a flurry of media reports on allegations of corruption against the federation’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. The ‘corruption allegations’ revolved around the sale of the Old Cosatu House. Elijah Chiwota looks at how Cosatu responded to the media stories.

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Cosatu bargaining

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Teaser:

At the Collective Bargaining, Organising and Campaigns (CBOC) conference at Boksburg, in March, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, highlighted some of the challenges unions faced. These included how to increase trade union membership and density, providing better service to members, improving union representation and democracy, dealing with social distance and corruption, writes Elijah Chiwota.

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Collective bargaining at Numsa

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The core business of trade unions is to bargain for better wages and working conditions for their members. This is what the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) set out to achieve at its national bargaining conference (NBC) in Pretoria from 16 to 19 April 2013. Elijah Chiwota looks at what underpins collective bargaining at one of the Congress of South African Trade Union’s (Cosatu) biggest affiliates.

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Re-thinking company and sectoral bargaining strategies

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As collective bargaining gets into full swing unions should relook at strategies that work for workers, such as centralised bargaining, writes Karl Cloete.

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Unlocking labour laws

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While managers can use their discretion to change shifts at the workplace there are limits to how they can do this. Heinrich Böhmke looks at how this has played out in recent cases.

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