Trade Union Council of South Africa
The Trade Union Council of South Africa (TUCSA) was national trade union federation in South Africa.
The council was founded in October 1954 by 61 unions which split from the South African Trades and Labour Council. They decided that only registered unions would be permitted to affiliate. Because unions representing black workers were not permitted to register, this meant they were excluded from the council. A few retained links with TUCSA affiliates, and established the parallel Federation of Free African Trade Unions of South Africa. The federation was initially named the South African Trades Union Council. In 1957, it affiliated to the new South African Confederation of Labour, which aimed to bring together all registered unions in the country, but it withdrew the following year, finding many of the other unions were explicitly white nationalist. The experience led it to change its name to the "Trade Union Council of South Africa", to avoid any similarity of names with the confederation it had left.
In 1962, TUCSA changed its statues to allow "black unions" to affiliate, but in 1965 the Amalgamated Engineering Union of South Africa (AEU) disaffiliated in protest at this. Two years later, the South African Typographical Union proposed splitting the council into two sections, one with registered unions only, and one with the more inclusive policy. Instead, the thirteen black unions decided to disaffiliate, in order to prevent a split. Many of the pro-government craft unions then followed the AEU in resigning, and faced with collapse, in 1969, TUCSA decided to once again restrict its membership to registered unions. This led some craft unions to reaffiliate.
With TUCSA's African affairs section closed, some of its officials formed the Urban Training Project, to encourage black workers to form new unions. From 1973, TUCSA recommended that its affiliates form parallel unions to represent black workers, but their weak position led independent black unions to argue that the parallel unions were simply puppets controlled by the registered unions, the registered unions hoping to preserve wage differentials and reduce militancy and political activism among black workers.
In 1974, TUCSA once again began admitting black unions, and some unions which had emerged from the Urban Training Project did join. From 1979, unions were legally permitted to represent all workers, and several TUCSA affiliates began to do so. In 1982, the council refused to join a general strike following the murder of Neil Aggett, and this led many unions to disaffiliate. In December 1986, with 32 affiliates remaining but only 170,000 members, the council decided to dissolve.
In 1982, the following unions were affiliated:
|Union||Abbreviation||Founded||Membership (1962)||Membership (1980)|
|African Leather Workers' Union||ALWU||1946||N/A||2,000|
|African Tobacco Workers' Union||ATUWU||1954||N/A||1,138|
|African Transport Workers' Union||ATWU||1973||N/A||2,273|
|African Trunk and Box Workers' Union||1950s||N/A||25|
|Amalgamated Engineering Union||AEU||1893||17,608||N/A|
|Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers||ASW||1881||4,680||N/A|
|Artisan Staff Association||ASA||1924||N/A||22,500|
|Association of Cape Furniture Workers||160||N/A|
|Association of Cinema Projectionists||455||32|
|Bay Bus Workers' Union||N/A|
|Brewery Employees' Union||1929||229||N/A|
|Cape Furniture Workers' Union||1,490||N/A|
|Chemical and Allied Workers' Union||1937||N/A||522|
|Chemical Workers' Union||1943||N/A||710|
|Cinematograph Projectionists' Union (Coloured)||N/A||68|
|Concession Stores and Allied Trades' Assistants' Union||CS&ATAU||1926||510||257|
|Durban Integrated Municipal Employees' Society||DIMES||1936||N/A||3,986|
|Durban Rubber Industrial Union||DRIU||280||194|
|East London Divisional Council Employees' Union||60||N/A|
|East London Liquor and Catering Trades' Employees' Union||ELL&CTEU||N/A||60|
|East London Meat Trade Union||96||N/A|
|East London Municipal Transport Workers' Union of South Africa||ELMTWU||77||54|
|Engineering Industrial Workers' Union of South Africa||EIWUSA||1961||N/A||11,849|
|Funeral Undertakers' Union||61||N/A|
|Furniture Workers' Industrial Union||FWIU||1925||875||N/A|
|Garment Workers' Industrial Union||GWIU||1934||9,000||28,004|
|Garment Workers' Union of South Africa||GWUSA||1909||11,315||5,993|
|Garment Workers' Union of the Western Province||GWU-WP||1927||16,000||46,000|
|Grave Diggers' and Cemetery Employees' Union||98||N/A|
|Hotel, Bar and Catering Trades' Employees' Association||HB&CTEA||1,000||2,500|
|Iron Moulders' Society of South Africa||IMS||1896||2,400||2,378|
|Johannesburg Municipal Combined Employees' Association||N/A||508|
|Johannesburg Municipal Transport Workers' Union||JMTWU||1935||1,500||890|
|Johannesburg Municipal Workers' Union||400||200|
|Kaffraria Divisional Council Employees' Association||N/A||51|
|Mine Surface Officials' Association of South Africa||MSOA||1919||N/A||13,868|
|Motor Industry Combined Workers' Union||MICWA||1961||N/A||13,135|
|Motor Industry Employees' Union||MIEU||1939||14,340||N/A|
|Motor Transport Workers' Union||N/A||405|
|Natal Baking Industry Employees' Union||NBaIEU||1965||N/A||550|
|Natal Liquor and Catering Trades' Employees' Union||NL&CTEU||1928||4,328||3,357|
|Natal Passenger Transport Employees' Union||NPTEU||N/A||400|
|National Union of Bank Employees||N/A||2,631|
|National Union of Cigarette and Tobacco Workers||NUC&TW||1928||1,038||668|
|National Union of Clothing Workers||NUCW||1962||N/A||21,418|
|National Union of Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers||NUCCAW||1966||N/A||5,571|
|National Union of Distributive Workers||NUDW||1936||11,936||5,328|
|National Union of Furniture and Allied Workers||NUFAW||1925||N/A||21,665|
|National Union of Laundry, Cleaning and Dyeing Workers||LC&DWUSA||1940||N/A||993|
|National Union of Leather Workers||NULW||1924||12,340||20,810|
|National Union of Operative Biscuit Makers and Packers||NUOBMiP||1937||1,157||642|
|Operative Bakers', Confectioners' and Van Conductors' Union||469||N/A|
|Operative Plasterers' Trade Union||200||N/A|
|Photographic Employees' Union||75||N/A|
|Radio, Television, Electronic and Allied Workers' Union||RTEAWU||1969||N/A||1,125|
|South African Bank Employees' Union||1973||N/A||765|
|South African Boilermakers', Iron and Steel Makers', Shipbuilders' and Welders' Society||SABS||1916||6,000||18,400|
|South African Canvas and Ropeworkers' Union||SAC&RWU||1926||338||150|
|South African Canvas and Ropeworkers' Union of the Cape||N/A||405|
|South African Electrical Workers' Association||SAEWA||1939||8,000||N/A|
|South African Hairdressers' Employees' Industrial Union||SAHEIU||1944||2,879||4,056|
|South African Society of Bank Officials||SASBO||1916||11,482||21,044|
|South African Theatre and Cinema Employees' Union||SAT&CEU||1,622||991|
|South African Theatre Union||N/A||550|
|South African Typographical Union||SATU||1896||15,376||26,818|
|South African Woodworkers' Union||N/A||1,429|
|Sweet Workers' Industrial Union||160||N/A|
|Sweet Workers' Union||SWU||1925||778||1,396|
|Tailoring Workers' Industrial Union||1934||545||N/A|
|Textile Workers' Industrial Union||TWIU||1935||N/A||6,227|
|Textile Workers' Union||TWU||1973||N/A||850|
|Tramway and Omnibus Workers' Union||TOWU||1,967||2,216|
|Tramway Officials' Staff Association||92||N/A|
|Transport Workers' Union||N/A||222|
|Transvaal Broom and Brush Workers' Industrial Union||54||N/A|
|Transvaal Leather and Allied Trades Industrial Union||TL&ATIU||1928||3,000||1,638|
|Transvaal Musicians' Union||N/A||314|
|Trawler and Line Fishermen's Union||1942||640||1,140|
|Trunk and Box Workers' Industrial Union||TBWU||1937||100||100|
|Witwatersrand Baking Employees' Association||1934||300||N/A|
|Witwatersrand Liquor and Catering Trade Employees' Union||Wit Liquor||1926||N/A||2,590|
|Witwatersrand Tearoom, Restaurant and Catering Trade Employees' Union||1930||1,000||900|
- Miller, Shirley (1982). Trade Unions in South Africa 1970-1980: a directory and statistics. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit. ISBN 0799204692.
- Carter, Gwendolen; Johns, Sheridan. "Interview with Alexander Hepple" (PDF). JSTOR. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
- Verwey, E.J. (1999). New Dictionary of South African Biography, Volume 1. HSRC Press. pp. 220–221. ISBN 9780796916488.
- "Trade Union Council of South Africa (TUCSA)". South African History Online. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- Ncube, Don (1985). Black trade unions in South Africa. Braamfontein: Skotaville. pp. 104–109. ISBN 0947009051.
- Money, Duncan (2020). The Struggle for Legitimacy: South Africa's Divided Labour Movement and International Labour Organisations, 1919 – 2019. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- Wirtz, W. Willard (1962). Directory of Labor Organizations: Africa. Washington DC: Bureau of International Labor Affairs. pp. 37.14–37.25.
- "TRADE UNION COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA, PART 2, 1955-1985". Historical Papers Research Archive. University of the Witwatersrand. Retrieved 21 March 2021.