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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Separation for Unity: The Garment Workers Union and the South African Clothing Union 1928 to 1936
Author:Witz, LeslieISNI
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:trade unions
clothing industry
Labor and Employment
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533958808458439
Abstract:The registered Garment Workers' Union (GWU), with an almost exclusively white membership up until 1939, worked very closely with the unregistered trade union for African clothing workers, the South African Clothing Workers' Union (SACWU). Up until its demise in 1984, the GWU proclaimed that it had always been committed to the principle of nonracialism. This paper examines the validity of this assertion for the period 1928-1936, when Solly Sachs was the general secretary of the union, and argues that the GWU did not give the SACWU full support. Moreover, it committed itself to a policy of keeping white and black workers separate in order to keep the GWU united. The paper starts with a description of the nature of the work and the workforce in the clothing industry in those early years. Bibliogr., ref., sum.