Tripartite Relationship

5870 WordsAug 6, 201224 Pages
SOUTH AFRICAN LABOUR: A TRIPARTITE RELATIONSHIP? G.M. Ferreira Department of Public Administration and Management UNISA ABSTRACT T his article contains an overview of the complex network of labour relations dynamics and organizational flow in the new legislative landscape of labour relations. It sketches the hierarchy and protocol of the different protagonists in the labour market and explains the number of principles and influences amidst the myriad of legislative and ad hoc regulatory precepts. It also touches on the impact the general rights of workers and their representative bodies have on the economic forces and health. The article stipulates the sensitive, yet core role that the government has to play in attempting to reach an…show more content…
The political system of governance in a country determines the extent of the involvement of the state in the labour relationship. In a democratic system, the intervention of the state is supposed to be limited. The free market system determines the labour relationship. In this environment the role of trade unions is limited as is that of conflict and industrial action. Labour legislation covers the bare minimum and employers are often only responding to the demands of the market. On the other side of the political spectrum, the state controls and owns all productive resources. The labour relationship is regulated and there is no need for trade unions. Between these extremes, countries have, to a greater or lesser degree, some form of regulation of the labour relationship through legislative frameworks. In advanced democracies, the fundamental human rights of individuals and employees are protected by the constitution. Labour market intervention in these countries is normally because of economic reasons. In South Africa, there has always been state intervention in the labour relationship. During the apartheid era there was a dual system in labour relations. There was a legislative framework governing white workers and a separate framework governing other workers. The implemented recommendations of the Wiehahn Commission in 1979, lead to
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