Many workers write letters to Learn and Teach. They ask about their rights. They ask about worker organizations. They ask where they can find these organizations.
Learn and Teach has made a list of all worker organizations. In this magazine we give a list of worker organizations in the Cape, Natal and Orange Free State. Last month we gave a list of all worker organizations in the Transvaal.
Different kinds of Unions
We find two different kinds of unions in South Africa. We find Industrial Unions and General Workers Unions.
GENERAL WORKERS UNIONS
A General Workers Union organizes workers from all factories or firms. A general union unites workers from different industries. For example: Farm workers and factory workers can belong to a General Workers Union.
Industrial Unions organize workers in one industry only. An industry means all the factories or firms that do the same work. For example, all the factories that make cars and car parts belong to the motor industry. Industrial Unions unite all workers in the same industry.
FEDERATION OR COUNCIL OF UNIONS
Some trade unions are joined together in a Federation or Council of Unions. Trade Unions join together to make each other strong. They join together to learn from each other and to share ideas.
WORKER ADVICE AND AID CENTRES
Advice or Aid centres are also worker organizations. They are not like trade unions.They do not organize workers in the factories. They give advice and help to workers. They help single workers or groups of workers. They give advice to workers about workers rights, wages, pensions, health and working conditions. They also give advice about unions. They explain about worker organizations. They tell workers how to join a trade union.
HOW TO USE THIS LIST
If you want to join a trade union, read the list carefully. See what Unions you can join. Go to the Unions near you. Discuss worker organization with the Unions.
Decide which Union to join. If you need help or advice, read the list of advice centres. See which centre will help with your problems. Go to the advice office.
Many Unions have grown strong in the past 10 years. We call these ‘emerging’ Unions. We give you a list of ‘emerging’ Unions only.