[Webinar] Industrial Action in South Africa (2000-2018): How to read strike statistics qualitatively

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

SWOP invites you to a webinar as part of the Alternatives to Capitalism Seminar Series:


Industrial Action in South Africa (2000-2018): How to read strike statistics qualitatively. Presented by Eddie Cottle, Crispen Chinguno will be the discussant for the session.


Date: 11 August 2021

Time: 14h00 - 15h30

Please register in advance for this webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CJSNIp61T9SJIe7veSNttQ

(after registering, you will receive a link to attend the event)





The presentation analyses strike statistics over the last twenty years in an effort to have a concrete understanding of the state of labour (organised and unorganised). A key aspect of this webinar is to show how one can use the quantitative method to assist in reading the qualitative aspects of worker mobilisation, an aspect which is markedly absent from contemporary analysis of labour. By utilising the quantitative method, the presentation will show whether the labour movement as an agent of social change is withering away; who the leading sections (per industrial sector) of the labour movement are and the shifts over time; including the relative performance of blue-collar workers to white collar workers. Finally, the presentation will show that strike action in South Africa must be located within a long-term perspective, within the ebbs and flows of class struggle failing which short-term analysis will give way to mistaken conclusions.


Speaker biographies


Eddie Cottle is a postdoctoral fellow at Society, Work and Politics Institute, University of Witwatersrand. He is a labour scholar and specialises in strike theory and comparative studies in social conflict. He has a long history of activism and a former trade unionist. He is the editor of the book, South Africa’s World Cup: A Legacy for Whom?


Crispen Chinguno Crispen Chinguno is a senior Lecturer at Sol Plaatje university in Kimberley and has PhD in Sociology from the university of the Witwatersrand. His academic and research interests emerged from his work experience as a worker activist. His experience from the world of work and in the trade union movement posed a number of intellectual challenges which later diverted him to academia. His principal research interest explores questions on labour, work, decent work ,the future of work and society and employment power relations.


Photo credit: Zoë Postman, GroundUp News

*Live stream will be available on the SWOP Youtube feed


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