n Mousaion - From adversarialism to cooperation : key implications of the new South African labour dispensation for the library and information sector

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The concept of co-determination, which is a fundamental principle underpinning the new South African labour dispensation, is examined. Co-determination represents a deliberate move away from adversarialism to cooperation. As the intention of the legislation is to have employers work together with employees, who are organised collectively into trade unions, the present article examines the effect of the trade union movement on the library and information services (LIS) sector. It identifies factors in the international literature that are seen to have an influence on the growth of trade unionism and traces these within the South African LIS context in relation to four key statutes in the Labour Relations Act. The LIS sector in South Africa is represented by a myriad of "generic" unions and a professional association and this dichotomous system of representation has severely limited its opportunities to exploit the progressive labour dispensation. The sector should therefore re-examine the opportunities offered by the new dispensation. The article focuses in particular on the tertiary education sector.

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