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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Stepchildren of liberation: South African farm workers' elusive rights to organise and bargain collectively
Author:Pahle, Simon
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:agricultural workers
labour relations
trade unions
Abstract:The poor working conditions and wages in South African agriculture suggests that legal mechanisms to protect workers' rights will remain largely ineffective if workers are not, at the same time, in a position to forge a collective agency. Despite South Africa's 'world class' labour legislation, farm workers' freedom of association and right to bargain collectively are hardly realised at all. This article draws on interviews with South African labour and human rights activists to explore why this is so. Structural and cultural traits of rural labour relations collude with the inept approaches of trade unions, revealing that even a state-of-the-art progressive labour relations system may fail to engender any countervailing power on the part of labour. How to make trade union rights of agricultural workers actionable remains a fundamental challenge in labour relations research and policy. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]