Lucien van der Walt, 2019, Beyond Decent Work: Fighting for Unions and Equality in Africa

Lucien van der Walt, 2019, Beyond Decent Work: Fighting for Unions and Equality in Africa, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Berlin, online at FES HERE and mirroredHERE.

“The International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work agenda has positive aspects, but is not feasible or desirable in the neo-liberal epoch. African labour should rather build class-based counter-power and counter-hegemony,  aiming at a new system: common ownership, self-management and bottom-up planning. This means rejecting corporatism and union involvement in electoral politics; instead opting for autonomy, globalisation-from-below, alliances with peasants, the unemployed and the poor, as well as union-backed healthcare, media and production. Union reform, driven by rank-and-file movements, must learn from Africa’s dramatic history of union successes and failings.”

This is a published version of a keynote talk I gave in Tanzania in October 2018, with the much longer original paper available here, plus audio, and a video here.

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