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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The casualisation of the retail sector in South Africa
Author:Kenny, Bridget
Periodical:Indicator South Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:labour relations
retail trade
Abstract:The retail industry in South Africa has experienced an expansion of so-called flexible work arrangements, including flexitime, casualization and subcontracting. The increased use of flexible labour has had the dual effect of segmenting the retail sector work force into core and peripheral workers and of threatening the job and other security of core workers. The use of casual labour is a general trend. To better understand this trend, focus groups and personal interviews were conducted with full-time permanent and part-time casual workers at one branch of a retail chain ('Megacity'). The two categories of workers were compared by labour market security, wages and benefits, conditions of employment, protection against arbitrary dismissal, training, job mobility, and union representation. While clear differences emerge between casual and permanent workers, not only flexiworkers are facing employment insecurity, but so too are core unionized workers. In this way, 'Megacity' restructuring has put pressure on full-time permanent workers. The labour market is being bifurcated with the effect of keeping both segments in check. This trend serves to undermine a strong labour movement. Bibliogr., sum.