n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Strikes in the Netherlands and South Africa, 1900-1998 : a comparison




Contemporary international labour history requires comparisons between countries or regions, instead of purely descriptive or qualitative studies about one single locality. In order to understand why certain labour developments took place it should be asked whether they are the result of local or global developments. In this article we compare the histories of strikes in South Africa and the Netherlands for the period 1900-1998. First, the comparison is made in a qualitative way by giving written histories. Secondly, we compare both countries by calculating a composite index on the basis of official data for South Africa and newly collected data for the Netherlands. The somewhat striking conclusion from both ways of making a comparison is that the histories of strike movements in both countries are more similar than one might expect.


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