A critical evaluation of the introduction of workplace forums to South Africa against the background of the German system of statutory worker participation and co-determination

Neethling, Adolph Clarence (1998-12)

Thesis (MBA)-- Stellenbosch University, 1998.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Labour Relations Act No 66 of 1995 reflects the efforts of government. business and labour at restoring an environment conducive to workplace harmony. productivity, and minimal work disruptions. This statute. and in particular its reference to workplace forums, provides the basis for this study project, which critically evaluates the establishment of workplace forums and whether these forums will be adopted by business and in particular, labour. Theories relating to worker participation are examined. This paper recalls worker participation and co-determination models as found in Germany. It identifies the establishment and reviews the functioning of these worker participation models. The Labour Relations Act relating to workplace forums IS discussed In detail. It IS compared with the German system of participation. The writer concludes that the German system differs materially from the South African system on key points. The distinct differences that emerge between Germany and South Africa in the structuring of worker participation highlight the impact of social, political and economic factors on the eventual introduction of worker participation at the workplace. Likewise, the background and factors leading to the introduction of workplace forums differ. The German industrial relations system is more developed. Workplace forums are characteristic of a developed country such as Germany. In a developing country such as South Africa, trade unions still play a dominant role in the workplace. Here the establishment of a workplace forum is subject to the power of the union. Accordingly it is unlikely that workplace forums will enjoy much support or success in terms of the present Labour Relations Act. The writer examines the attitudes of capital and labour towards the establishment of workplace forums. and suggests reasons why it is unlikely that trade unions would apply for the establishment of workplace forums. He continues to explain why, in its present format, the concept of 'workplace forums is unacceptable to organised labour and has no chance of being implemented.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie werkstuk handel oor die Wet op Arbeidsverhoudinge, wet 66 van 1995 en veral oor die instelling van werkplekforums. Teorie rondom die beginsel van werker deelname word bespreek. Daar word ondersoek ingestel oor hoe hierdie konsep in Duitsland onstaan het en hoe dit daar toegepas word. Die Suid Afrikaanse proses en onwikkeling van werker deelname in geheel asook deelname in besluitneming word besoek om te kyk of die bepalinge van die nuwe apartheidswet aanvaarbaar vir die plaaslike arbeidsmag is. Die bepalinge van die arbeidswet asook die grondwet aangaande werkpleksforums word in detail bespreek. Dit word gekontrasteer met die Duitse stelsel van deelname. So word daar ook gekyk na die rol van vakbonde in die verhand. Die skywer kom tot die slotsom dat die Duite stelsel op belangrike aspekte van die Suid-Afrikaanse model verskil. So ook verskil die agtergrond en omstandighede wat aanleiding gee tot die instelling van werkpleksforums. Die nywerheidsverhouding stelsel is meer gevordered in Duitsland. Werkpleksforums is 'n kenmerk van 'n onwikkelde land soos Duitsland. In 'n ontwikkelende land soos Suid Afrika speel die vakbonde nog 'n prominente rol in alle aspekte van die werkplek, dus is werkpleksforums onderworpe aan die mag van vakbonde en is dit onwaarskynlik dat werksplekforums ingevolge die nuwe aarbeidswet veeI steun of sukses sal geniet.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50879
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