With a down-to-earth and practical approach that is both refreshing and inspiring, this revised edition of The South African labour market contains an abundance of information about labour markets in general, as well as the South African labour market in particular. It successfully fills a serious void in comprehensive, objective literature on this topic.
The labour market and labour policies are in constant flux, with the result that fairly substantial changes have been made to ensure that this revised edition is positioned squarely in the middle of labour debates currently raging in South Africa.
A chapter is specially dedicated to collective bargaining and the impact of unions on the labour market. It also covers strike action in South Africa and looks at the controversy surrounding bargaining councils.
Labour market flexibility has become an important public focal point with the ANC publishing some important position papers on the matter and notable international organisations also referring to it in the context of South Africa's labour markets. This is part of the broader debate on ways to increase productivity.
Formal employment is said to have increased substantially since the advent of democracy. The book considers the evidence of this and comes to some disturbing conclusions about the sensitivity of employment to economic growth.
The book deals extensively with the impact of globalisation on the labour market and how other countries have managed the challenges of globalisation. Other topics include affirmative action in South Africa compared to Malaysia, and whether consensus-seeking institutions such as Nedlac still have a role to play.
The book is generally accessible, but without sacrificing the firm academic foundation required to understand the operation of labour markets.
All in all, this book is a mine of information, set out in a user-friendly manner, so that even the uninitiated will be able to understand the issues at hand. The content provides the reader with more than sufficient material for intelligent participation in debates and decisions regarding the labour market.
Contents include the following:
- Unique characteristics of the labour market
- The impact of HIV and Aids
- Employment in the formal and informal sectors
- Wages and the cost of labour
- Addressing the challenges of globalisation
- Unemployment in South Africa
- Human capital and the demand for skilled workers
- Inequalities and discrimination
The late Dr Frans Barker was a senior executive at the Chamber of Mines. During his career, he was also vice-president of the Economic Society of South Africa and president of the Industrial Relations Association of South Africa. He served on governing structures of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), was a commissioner for the Commissions of Employment Equity and was also involved in Nedlac in various roles. Dr Barker lectured at a number of universities and was the author of several publications related to labour issues.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 The supply of labour
Chapter 3 The demand for labour
Chapter 4 Wages and the cost of labour
Chapter 5 Unions, collective bargaining and minimum wages
Chapter 6 Productivity and labour market flexibility
Chapter 7 Globalisation and the labour market
Chapter 8 Unemployment in South Africa
Chapter 9 Human capital and the demand for skilled workers
Chapter 10 Labour market inequalities and discrimination
Chapter 11 Social dialogue and codetermination
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