NUMSA and Solidarity's Responses to Technological Changes at the ArcelorMittal Vanderbijlpark Plant: Unions Caught on the Back Foot

  • Mondli Hlatshwayo University of Johannesburg

Abstract

Under the impact of globalisation and intensified international competition there has been an increased use of technology in the production processes in South African enterprises. No specific study of the impacts of technological changes on work and workers, and how trade unions have responded to technological changes at the workplace has been undertaken in post-apartheid South Africa. This article seeks to fill this void by examining trade union responses to technological changes at the ArcelorMittal Vanderbijlpark Plant. The responses of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA; a predominantly black union) and Solidarity (a predominantly white union) to technological changes were generally reactive or on the back foot, with a general focus on wage bargaining by both trade unions.