n Law, Democracy & Development - Trade unions and institutionalised workers' participation : the German expenence

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



The introduction of workplace forums by the LRA in South Africa was meant to facilitate a shift, at the workplace, from adversarial collective bargaining to joint problem-solving and participation on certain matters. This attempt met with strong resistance from the trade unions, which feared unwanted competition and a significant weakening of the trade union movement. Therefore, the original draft had to be changed in order to gain acceptability. The initiation and control of the workplace forums were put into the hands of representative trade unions (i.e. trade unions representing a majority of employees at the workplace) and collective bargaining became the instrument to extend the powers of the workplace forums.

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