Co-determination and trade unions


Trade unions have put forward demands for more power in the workplace, for an end to unilateral restructuring of firms, for full disclosure of company information. Now that the labour ministry of our new democratic government has started a full review of labour legislation, it may be possible to establish these demands as rights in law. But there has been no discussion within the labour movement of how these rights should be institutionalised – in other words, of co-determination. SA Labour Bulletin decided that its 1994 seminar should focus on this theme, and invited two international speakers: world authority on corporatism and co-determination Wolfgang Streeck, and trade unionist and writer on worker participation Andy Banks. They were joined by two South African trade unionists – NUM’s Gwede Mantashe and FAWU’s Peter Malepa. The seminar was co-hosted by Sociology and Work Programme (Wits University) and National Labour and Economic Development Institute. We thank the Dutch trade union federation, FNV, for their financial support.


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Streeck, W.
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