n South African Journal of Labour Relations - A descriptive analysis of the 2007 public sector strike in South Africa : forum section




With the restoration of open democracy in South Africa in 1994, there was unusual optimism and hope that prosperity, as the dividends of democracy, would trickle down to the working population. But post-repressive societies have not always attained this Eldorado. One of the many ways in which this contradiction has manifested itself is the continuing frosty relationship between the state and the labour movement. The troubled labour relations have in fact often led to violent industrial action. By means of a descriptive approach and content analysis of media (print & electronic) as well as documentary sources, the study, after a brief literature review on strike action in Southern / South Africa, traces the root of the 2007 public service union strike in South Africa, the strategies adopted by the parties to the dispute, the way the dispute was resolved and the cost of the strike. The article concludes by highlighting the intended and unintended outcomes for both the government and the unions.


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