Worker participation at the workplace with special reference to Dunlop Tyre Manufacturing Company in Durban.
Ngomane, Mpumelelo Excellent.
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The South African Labour Market still lacks significant numbers of workers in spheres of decision-making. As a result the employers have been severely criticised by the trade union movement for not adopting worker participation strategies. This study was initiated in response to the recognition of the importance of worker participation as a dynamic and complex concept that allows both employers and employees to effectively participation in decision-making. The argument raised in this study is that worker participation promotes the spirit of solidarity, co-operation, satisfaction, tolerance, and discipline. It is argued in this study that the involvement of workers in decision-making creates a platform for dialogue. When both workers and employers start to dialogue a proper platform for worker participation is created. The objective of this study was to evaluate perceptions of whether worker participation can indeed lead to an increase in productivity and economic growth in the broader context. The study was also aimed at unpacking the argument raised by scholars that where there is worker participation, workers will feel the sense of owning the company and as a result they will be more satisfied with their jobs. After interrogating these issues a conclusion is reached that worker participation is essential if the company is to facilitate job satisfaction. This is supported by the findings of the literature review and the fieldwork conducted. As per responses given by the workers and managers, the findings of the study reveal that when employers do not introduce worker participation, it leads to the feelings of disempowerment and marginalisation of the workers. Both employees and employers are of an ideal that for the company to be run effectively and efficiently, the employees need to be given a proper platform to express their views. This then supports the arguments raised in the literature review that workers participation creates a situation whereby the workers voice is heard in the workplace. Furthermore, the results of this study conducted among workers and managers in Dunlop also reveal that in a work environment where there is no worker participation the production process is adversely affected. However, an important point to note is that both parties must be willing to accept each other as partners in decision-making.