Effects of multiple trade unions in public institutions of South Africa: The case of Ekurhuleni East Technical and Vocational Education and Training College
Muswaba, Manager Mhangarai
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The power and influence of unions in South Africa is often associated with creating maximum beneficiation for their members. This is based on their ability to, among other things, mobilise industrial action and represent their members in negotiations for better wages. There is extensive literature on the bargaining council negotiations in South Africa, but slightly fewer studies on the effects of multiple trade unions at workplaces of public institutions. Literature has also shown that labour unions have played an integral role as a voice for social transformation in South Africa. From the time of apartheid until now in the twenty-first century, unions have continued to participate in all the facets of the country with their objectives being seen to be also distinctly political. Their formal influence grew with the deregulation of black trade unions in the early 1980s and continued to influence the direction of the economy of the country through their participation in the organs of governance of the country. Allowing for multiple trade unions at a workplace is supported by both the legislation and the common law in South Africa. The existence of such has, however, received a lot of criticism from most employer representatives. The presence of multiple trade unions in workplaces has largely been criticised for reducing efficiency of public institutions. Efficiency concerns are raised as a result of the promotion of strikes, reduction in worker productivity as well as complicating the conduct of collective bargaining.