331pp., paperback, Pietermaritzburg, 2021
By 2011, a third of the South African Post Ofiice’s workforce was employed through labour brokers. These ‘casuals’ worked alongside permanent employees for a quarter of the salary. Dickinson charts the attempts of casuals to organise within the law and how their efforts were defeated, the wildcat strikes that followed, and how 294 casuals, known as the Mabarete (The Berets), managed to end labour broking.
"David Dickinson has written a hard-hitting and powerful account about the labour broking system in South Africa and the grassroots attempts to eliminate it in the South African Post Office. I know of no other book that provides this level of informed insight into how South African workplaces are governed in practice rather than in theory. It must be read by all students and practitioners in the field of industrial relations, human resource management, the labour market and the labour movement." Edward Webster, Distinguished Research Professor, University of the Witwatersrand
David Dickinson is a Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand.