Trade Unions and Democracy
This title analyses the results of a survey of the political attitudes of members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) undertaken in the run up to South Africas third democratic general election in 2004. The survey was the third in a series, two previous ones having been conducted by some of the authors writing in the present collection before the elections of 1994 and 1999. The results of all three surveys are presented in an appendix, and taken together constitute a unique data base whose interpretation makes a major contribution to our understanding of contemporary South African history, notably with regard to how and why COSATU has become a major political actor within the tripartite alliance which links it to the ruling African National Congress and the South African Communist Party.
"Based on a uniquely original data base, this is a major contribution to knowledge in the field of labour studies but will also be read carefully by analysts of South African politics.
About the Author/s
Dr Sakhela Buhlungu is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Deputy Director of the Sociology of Work Unit (SWOP). Prior to joining SWOP as a research Office in 1994 he worked in the unions and in Labour-supporting organisations. He has done research and written widely on the changing nature of trade unionism in South Africa, union movements' political engagement, industrial relations and the 'new' social movements. He was on the editorial board of the South African Labour Bulletin for eight years (until 2001) and currently serves on the editorial boards of academic journals, Labour History and Society in Transition, as well as the governing board of NALEDI. He completed his doctoral thesis in Sociology in 2001 on the leadership and modernisation of the post-1973 unions in South Africa. Since 2002 he has served on the board of the Research Committee on Labour Movements of the International Social Association and edits its regular Newsletter. He has supervised many post-graduate students and has been a mentor in the SWOP internship programme since its inception.