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Beyond the nature–labour divide: trade union responses to climate change in South Africa
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
School of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.
2018 (English)In: Globalizations, ISSN 1474-7731, E-ISSN 1474-774X, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 504-519Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present the life histories of two environmentally engaged unionists in South Africa, who were decisive for formulating the environmental programmes of their respective trade unions. Their experiences of participating in the resistance against apartheid in universities and factories taught them the necessity to connect different struggles and equipped them with the knowledge and ability to connect the fight for workers’ rights with the fight against environmental degradation. Both activists experienced the difficulty of integrating ‘the environment’ politically and practically into a trade union agenda. The labour movement has traditionally experienced nature as a place outside of work to be enjoyed for recreation. While nature constitutes an indispensable condition for labour, it has been privately appropriated by Capital. For environmental policies to form an integral part of union agendas, nature needs to be wrestled away from its appropriation by Capital and understood as an inseparable ally of labour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. Vol. 15, no 4, p. 504-519
Keywords [en]
Labour environmentalism, South Africa, life histories, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, just transition, ecological crisis
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146878DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2018.1454678ISI: 000430500900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146878DiVA, id: diva2:1199483
Available from: 2018-04-20 Created: 2018-04-20 Last updated: 2018-06-11Bibliographically approved

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Räthzel, Nora

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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