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Industrialisation and Trade Union Organization in South Africa, 1924–1955


  • Lewis,Jon


This major 1984 study of South African trade unionism traces the history of the South African Trades and Labour Council (TLC) from its origins in the 1920s to its demise in the early 1950s. The book focuses on South Africa's secondary industrialisation and subsequent changes in work organization. By analysing trade union structures and strategies Dr Lewis shows how divisions within the labour movement were bound up with the development of production processes and the division of labour, rather than being the inevitable outcome of racial antagonisms. The early chapters analyse the emergence of different trade union strategies. As work processes were transformed by the rapid industrialisation of the 1940s, the traditional craftsmen lost their technical indispensability and increasingly performed supervisory functions. Faced with dilution and undercutting, and increasingly hostile to the majority of black production workers, the craft unions responded by redefining membership on the basis of race rather than skill.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewis,Jon, 2011. "Industrialisation and Trade Union Organization in South Africa, 1924–1955," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521317580, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521317580

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    2. Justin Yifu Lin, 2011. "New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 193-221, August.
    3. Justin Yifu Lin, 2012. "New Structural Economics : A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2232.
    4. Lin, Justin Yifu, 2003. "Development Strategy, Viability, and Economic Convergence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 276-308, January.
    5. Dirk Willem te Velde & Justin Lin & Célestin Monga & Suresh D. Tendulkar & Alice Amsden & K. Y. Amoako & Howard Pack & Wonhyuk Lim, 2011. "DPR Debate: Growth Identification and Facilitation: The Role of the State in the Dynamics of Structural Change," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 29(3), pages 259-310, May.
    6. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Rural Reforms and Agricultural Growth in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 34-51, March.
    7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
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