n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Impact of globalisation on the labour movement : perceptions of trade unionists and subject matter experts from the metal industry in KwaZulu-Natal

Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



The rules, agreements and interactions guiding relations in the workplace have been under pressure to contribute to the survival and success of organisations in the face of ever-increasing competition resulting from globalisation. This has prompted changes in many aspects of production, including those related to the employment relationship. The present exploratory study aimed to explore one aspect of the employment relationship within this context, namely the perceived impact of globalisation on the labour movement. Fifteen trade union officials and three subject matter experts in the metal industry in KwaZulu-Natal were interviewed to ascertain their experiences and perceptions in this regard.

As expected, the findings indicate that the participants view globalisation as a major challenge because of what they perceive to be the numerous adverse effects it causes. However, respondents also reported a few positive consequences of globalisation. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the literature.

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