Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781783609840 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786990648 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only

Yours for the Union

Class and Community Struggles in South Africa

Baruch Hirson

Yours for the Union

Baruch Hirson

Distributed for Zed Books

With a New Foreword
230 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781783609840 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786990648 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Yours for the Union stands as a landmark history of the making of the black working class in South Africa. Drawing on a wide range of sources, it covers the crucial period between 1930 and 1947, when South Africa's rapid industrialization led to the dramatic growth of the working class, and uncontrolled urbanization resulted in the creation of vast shanty towns that became a focal point for resistance and protest.
 
Renowned scholar and activist Baruch Hirson was one of the first historians to go beyond the traditional focus on the mines and factory workplaces, broadening his account to include the lesser known community struggles of the urban ghettoes and rural reserves. Drawing on Hirson’s first-hand involvement in South African labor struggles, Yours for the Union broke new ground with its account of the effort to mobilize urban squatters, domestic workers, and rural peasants, and it remains indispensable today as a resource for the study of the South African labor movement.
 
Contents
Photographs and Illustrations
Foreword by Tom Lodge
Abbreviations
Preface
Map of South Africa
 
1. The African Worker: Class and Community
2. Desperately Lean Times: The Socio-economic Background
3. Industrial Legislation and Minimum Wages
4. Rebuilding the African Unions, 1932-40
5. Organising Domestic Servants
6. Vereeniging: “To Hell with the Pick-up!”
7. The Politics of War and the Black Working Class
8. Trade Unions in Struggle
9. Organising Under War Conditions
10. Rural Protest and Rural Revolt
11. Azikwhelwa!— We Shall Not Ride
12. Umagebule— The Slicer
13. Organising the Migrant Workers
14. The 1946 Miners’ Strike
15. Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
 
Review Quotes
Tom Lodge, from the foreword

“A key theme in Hirson’s work is ‘the enthusiasm, courage and weakness of the workers.’ In his view, this courage and enthusiasm was squandered. . . . South Africa’s working class communities are still paying the price . . . and Baruch Hirson’s tragic history is still their story.”

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