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The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s largest trade union federation, has been losing members. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Has South Africa’s labour movement become a middle class movement?

The membership base of South Africa's trade union movement has undergone significant changes which begs the question: has it moved away from its working class roots to become a middle class movement.
Gold miners appear after being trapped underground at a mine in Carltonville, west of Johannesburg. Managing their safety has been a major issue as South Africa has among the deepest and most dangerous mines. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lessons learnt from taking sides as a sociologist in unjust times

When sociologists, driven by their value commitments, go beyond the relative comfort of the classroom and engage with organisations outside the university, they dirty their hands.
The miners shouted, but most of the media wasn’t listening. PA

Miners’ strike the first IR dispute won and lost in the media

On 5 March 1984 workers downed tools at Cortonwood Colliery in South Yorkshire, in protest at the Conservative government’s plans to close pits across the country. A week later, National Union of Mineworkers…

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