Category Archives: Publications

Environmental and CSI Reporting in South African MNCs.

Sustainability has been defined as the practices which meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (ERIS, 2013). The sustainability of business operations has increasingly come to include both social and environment components. In this way, companies are encouraged to acknowledge their impact on the communities of their employees and the environment in which they operate.

Organising In and Along Value Chains. What Does It Mean for Trade Unions?

Globalisation has become a household word that for millions of workers means uncertainty, loss of jobs and income, and upheaval. Outsourcing, offshoring, subcontracting and agency work have taken their toll on union membership. For many, this development is not only threatening, it has taken on a look of being inescapable. But is that really so? Is there no way for workers
and trade unions around the world to collectively exercise their democratic rights to form unions, to voice their
concerns and represent their interests?

From the mine shaft, from the shop and factory floor: African Shop Steward Network- Building on our achievements.

In 2007 the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) began supporting the Global Unions in forming African Shop Steward Networks in South African Multinational Corporations operating in Africa. Networks are a way of bringing together workers across the operations of a company to share experiences and fight for better working conditions across the company. The 2007 project and the processes that have followed have brought together the global unions and their affiliates, the funder foundation (FES) and the labour support organisation, Labour Research Service (LRS) in a way that hadn’t been tried before in Africa.

An African trade union guide to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, for effective participation & implementation.

An African trade union guide to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, for effective participation & implementation. For decades human beings used environmental resources and consequently impacted on the environment without much concern. However, as the magnitude of anthropogenic impacts outweighed the self – capacity of nature to remedy itself, impacts became more frequent, severe and visible. The alarm of our pending environmental catastrophes was first rung by Rachel Carson who in 1962 published a book titled ‘Silent Spring’. Though her book addressed specific environmental impacts of pesticides it also covered other deleterious impacts such as those related to human health. It also covered a chemical product that was widely used globally hence attracted global attention on environmental issues in a scale that was never seen before.

Creating a Base Line for Action. A report for the Southern African Energy Network.

Access to energy remains a dominant challenge in Sub Saharan Africa. By excluding the regional hegemon South Africa, only 28% of the total continental population has access to electricity. Significant differences are observed with regard to energy access in various regions. While North Africa claims 99% access, the situation in southern Africa remains more dramatic with only 30.5% access. The latest Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) Annual Report to March 2014 reports the average electrification level in the SAPP region as 36%. Within the SADC region there is a wide variation among countries. Botswana, for instance, commands one of the higher rates of electrification with 47%; in stark contrast to this is the DRC and Malawi with respective electrification rates of on just 10%.

Global Union African Shop Steward Networks- Building on our achievements.

In 1994, as South Africa was emerging from apartheid and South African capital was beginning to enjoy a freedom to move that had been previously restricted, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), published its 1994 World Investment Report with a focus on: Transnational Corporations, Employment and the Workplace. In the document it notes the rise of the transnational corporation (TNC, or MNC, Multinational Corporation) and the impact and changes this has brought about to employment globally and working conditions at operational level. It further notes the actions that unions, in the form of the then International Trade Secretariats (ITS) now Global Unions had and could take to begin to engage with this new form of corporation which would require different strategies and processes from dealing with merely national companies

SAEN: Economic development is not possible without energy or workers. First Work- creating a baseline for action.

The publication in hand is a summary of the major findings of the comprehensive report and the major challenges ahead of the SAEN-Network. It should give first-hand information to workers, Shop Stewards and Trade Unionists as well as representatives of IndustriALL and should be a sound base for the further strengthening of the Network and their participation in defining the energy policy in the region. We trust that this publication will be of great value in pursuing these objectives.

South African Multinational Corporations In africa. Trends in 2013/2014.

During the 1970’s and the 1980s South African companies, at a time when their profits were declining in South Africa, also faced resistance from a rising working class in South Africa as well as from newly independent countries in the Southern African region. They realised how dependent they are on the region and set out to overcome this resistance. That they have achieved this through legitimising the South African state is undeniable. In earlier publications the LRS has argued that South African capital spurred on the movement towards a negotiated transition to end apartheid for securing its own long term interests in South Africa and through this, its interests in the region as a whole not just for quick financial gain but for ensuring long term stability in the region for capital accumulation.