This book provides a thorough analysis of the state of collective bargaining in South Africa today. Drawing on extensive empirical research, it examines the processes which have shaped the collective bargaining system, as well as identifying some crucial questions hanging over its future. Collective bargaining is approached from legal, sociological, economic and historical perspectives, thereby giving a multifaceted view of the system.
While the country's unique history may have left trade unions and bargaining councils in a position of relative strength, it is argued that global market forces - manifested in trends towards non-standard employment and other changes in the job market undermining traditional bargaining relationships - pose a serious threat to these institutions. Trade unionists acknowledge that new strategies are needed to meet these challenges, and many employers see the value of stable bargaining relationships.
The book considers empirical data and initiatives developed by trade unions and employers around the world and raises some policy options that might be considered in seeking a way forward. Ultimately it is up to the parties to debate and negotiate improvements to the legal institutions within which collective bargaining takes place. This book will go a long way to stimulating and informing the debate.
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