Individual trust and distrust in South African trade unions: a quantitative analysis, 2011-2013

SOURCE: Politikon
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9149

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The South African organized labour movement is one of the most powerful on the African continent. A central actor in the democratic struggle, the movement continues to play a crucial role in the post-apartheid period. However, public opinion data collected by the South African Social Attitudes Survey for the period 2011-2013 suggest that only a minority of the public currently trust the organized labour movement. No cleavage in individual trust in trade unions was noted between age cohorts and labour market status. Distrust among the lower and working class has expanded significantly between 2011 and 2013. Findings suggest that trade unions in the country are increasingly associated with the unpopular political establishment. More research on public attitudes towards unions is required. There is a need for trade unions to intensify their engagement with working-class communities in order to build greater levels of individual trust.