Steven Friedman

South African democracy spans two very different worlds. In one, people complain loudly but enjoy full democratic rights – in the other, most remain unheard and battle for the right to speak. In both, life is difficult for those who do not conform.

Unions must link with people and organisations beyond the formal workplace to become the voice of the excluded.


There is a sustained ideological assault on trade unionism in South Africa. But why should millions of unemployed people be expected to see trade unions as the cause of their problems when there are more obvious targets?