African workers, Parallel Unions

The Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) formed African industrial unions, some of which were parallels of registered unions. These unions were involved in several strikes prior to the Depression. The Depression and the curtailment of the movement and civil rights of Africans led to their premature demise of these unions.

 In 1930, the non-racial South African Trades & Labour Council (TLC) was established. At its first conference, it called for the amendment of the Industrial Conciliation Act (ICA) to allow for recognition of African trade unions.  

In 1947, the Coordinating Council of South African Trade Unions was formed. The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) was formed in 1950, with a mixed membership but was opposed to involving Africans in the bargaining process. 

Last updated : 03-Feb-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 03-Feb-2014

Support South African History Online

Donate and Make African History Matter

South African History Online is a non profit organisation. We depend on public support to build our website into the most comprehensive educational resource and encyclopaedia on African history.

Your support will help us to build and maintain partnerships with educational institutions in order to strengthen teaching, research and free access to our content.