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Masters Degrees (Industrial Relations)

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    Assessing work organization strategies of Johannesburg based e-hailing drivers.
    (2022) Luhlongwane, Zamangwane Silindokuhle.; Ruggunan, Shaun Denvor.
    The researcher has a brother that was an e-hailing driver in the year 2018. He had a number of traumatic experiences whilst working for this industry such as being hijacked, robbed, and verbally abused. As a family, we would always be relieved when he made it back home alive. The researcher could not help but imagine if this was what every family was experiencing with every person working in this industry. The researcher started reading a lot about this industry trying to understand all its advantages and disadvantages in the labour market to educate the worried family about the industry. The industry research led to an interest to formalize the research into an academic dissertation. The aim of this dissertation is to unpack the current work arrangements and conditions of the e-hailing platforms in Johannesburg, with the intention to shine a light on this industry for it to be acknowledged and fully regulated by the government. The aim of this study will be addressed by answering the below research questions: 1. How is work organized for e-hailing drivers in Johannesburg? 2. How are e-hailing drivers protected under the South African labour legislation? 3. To what extent can the South African labour legislation be adjusted to accommodate changes to the extant employment relationships of e-hailing drivers? 4. How does the case of e-hailing drivers allow us to understand conceptually the broader nature of precarious work in South Africa? Background of the Study The entrance of e-hailing services in South Africa has brought about many mixed emotions in the country. As there are some who appreciate the job creation and travelling convenience created by the e-hailing platforms, there are some who are against the e-hailing platform as it presents unfair competition in the market, poor working conditions and ambiguous employment titles for the e-hailing drivers. This is dissertation is important because although e-hailing work is advertised as a way of creating an extra income to the public, it has however become a main source of income for drivers on the dissertation platform (Hall & Kreuger, 2018). As shown in chapter 5, majority of the participants indicated that they were full time in the e-hailing industry. This piece of information further solidifies why it is important for the government to fully regulate this industry, as there are people who are fully relying on this industry for a living. The e-hailing services had drastically spread throughout the country, it is important for the government to note that the labour legislation’s duty is to protect all the vulnerable in the labour market. Problem Statement The developments in technological inventions and economic restructuring over the past years have encouraged the rise of new business models that are disrupting numerous traditional industries and bringing a challenge to current employment laws (Isaac, 2014). The current labour legislation does not address the issues that platform workers are facing. The question of how to regulate the platform industry and how to define the workers in this market is still being debated (Horney, 2016). So far, the pace of action has been slow. According to the literature, this is because, due to the competitive nature of the e-hailing economy, workers are often unwilling to cooperate to make a collective claim to enforce their rights; speaking out could jeopardize an individual's job due to the ease of rating and high reliance on reputation (De Stefano, 2015). More regulation is required to protect the rights of such workers. The issues surrounding this ambiguous category of the workers must be resolved, and more rights must be established (De Stefano, 2015). Precarious work arrangement has the potential to destabilise society as it is a threat to social and economic stability. This can have a great impact on the standard of living of both individuals and societies. Research Methodology This research chose the qualitative research method. This research will use the case study research design. The target population for this dissertation is Johannesburg based e-hailing drivers that are approximately 3000 in Johannesburg. A purposive sampling method was applied for this dissertation selecting 15 former Johannesburg-hailing drivers. The data collection method used both semi-structured interviews and secondary data.
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    Perceptions of employees regarding the effectiveness of trade unions in representing employees at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2019) Ndlovu, Sandile Enocent.; Bernard, Rowena Bronwen.
    In the field of industrial relations there is a confusion of mixed views between researchers about the effectiveness of trade unions in representing employees. For example, Walters, (2011) argues that trade unions which are meant to effectively represent their members have been restricted in doing so due to their increased focus on politics instead of their original duties and responsibilities. As a result, there has been a rapid increase in the general perception that trade unions are not effective in representing employees. On the other hand, Bryson (2012) argues that trade unions are effective in representing employees, however the problem is that they are unable to pinpoint their success so that it can be translated into perceived benefits arising from the effectiveness of the trade union’s actions, and that this could account for the increase in the above general perception. There are many other challenges which are experienced by trade unions, which makes trade unions to be ineffective when representing employees. For example, Gumede (2012) argue that South African trade unions has lose their ability to function properly and effectively because of the unfavourable economic and labour market conditions that have created the daunting challenges for trade unions movement which are deeply rooted in the public sector and in the African National Congress (ANC). The other challenge is the onset of loss of trade unions members to such unions and in-fighting within trade unions (Gumede, 2012). This usually happens when there is more than one trade union which represent employees in a single workplace. The research problem for this study is the effectiveness of trade unions in representing employees. The primary aim of this study is to examine whether trade unions are effective in representing employees. The following tools were used to investigate the above-mentioned research problem. Descriptive research design was used in this study. Research objectives and research questions were developed to investigate the above-mentioned research problem. The questionnaires (both open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires were used as the main tool of collecting data. A probability sampling method was used to select UKZN employees for inclusion in the sample. This study used the mixed method research approach to critically analyse data. A thematic data analysis method was used to critically analyse data in this study. The findings of this study discovered that trade unions are effective in representing employees. Based on the research questions the findings of this study discovered that UKZN trade unions are effective in collective bargaining regarding salary increments and the protection of employees against unfair treatments such as discrimination. They always make it sure that UKZN employees get salary increments and protected against unfair treatments such as discrimination. In the absence of them employees might not be able to get salary increments and be protected against unfair treatments such as discrimination. UKZN employees need trade unions to represent and protect them. The findings discovered that UKZN trade unions are effective in handling employees’ grievances. UKZN Employees need trade unions to represent and protect them, without trade unions at UKZN things would be worse. The findings discovered that UKZN trade union representatives are effective in representing employees, they are beneficial to employees, they are also well trained and prepared to represent employees. Things would be worse in the absence of them in the workplace. The findings also discovered that there are challenges which are experienced by trade unions when representing employees. For example, the expertise or resource constraints, tight reins on trade union operation, political power which hinders trade unions progress, and bureaucracy, lack of funding and legal expertise etc. The findings discovered that these challenges affect trade unions as a result trade union maybe ineffective in doing their duties, but trade unions can address these challenges. The findings of this study have discovered that trade unions are effective in representing employees, and this is different from what was said in the research problem of this study. But there is also similarity from what was said in the research problem and findings of this study, as they both said that there are challenges which are experienced by trade unions when representing employees and they mentioned different challenges. They both argue that these challenges affect trade unions as a result trade union, may be ineffective in representing employees, but trade unions are able to address these challenges. The findings discovered that trade unions solve the challenges by studying the challenges, understand it and come up with solution to solve it, and they also give extra training to trade unions officials, so that they can have enough skills and knowledge to deal with any challenge that they experience.
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    Employees’ perceptions of organisational justice at Outworx (International Call Centre), Umhlanga Ridge.
    (2017) Naidoo, Shakti.; Bernard, Rowena Bronwen.
    Fairness in a workplace is imperative in ensuring a workforce that is engaged and ultimately a productive team (Colell, 2001). Often management disregard their subordinates and do not follow fair, regulated processes in disciplinary hearings and promotions (Van der Bank, Engelbrecht and Struimpher, 2008). This study investigated the perceptions of fairness at different levels within Outworx. Once the study was completed and a definite result was determined, recommendations were made on different strategies that Outworx could implement in order to maintain fair processes and organisational justice. Outworx is an international outsourcing Call Centre based in Umhlanga Ridge. Clients based in the UK outsource contact centre work to Outworx. The Client is the main source of income and profit for the business. Qualitative research design was the approach used in determining the employees’ perceptions. The research was completed in two phases. Phase one involved data collection, where questionnaires and staff forums (focus groups) were the research tools used to gather data. All information was collected anonymously and confidentiality was maintained throughout the study. Phase two involved the analysis of the data and this provided recommendations to Outworx on how to improve areas of organisational justice around disciplinary proceedings and promotions. It was found that gaps exist in all areas of organisational justice at Outworx. There are more concerns around the employees’ perceptions of promotions in the workplace than around disciplinary action. Realistic recommendations to ensure a positive change in perceptions were made, starting with the employment contract and also focusing on changing the management’s approach. Organisational justice produces positive outputs for both the employer and employee. Some of the results of organisational justice include employee engagement, improved job performance and reduced conflict in the workplace. Outworx should consider implementing the recommendations suggested in order to achieve organisational justice and to maintain the slogan, ‘The People’s Call Centre’.
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    Factors influencing the reliability of employment reference checking at Transnet National Port Authority.
    (2017) Ngcamu, Elton.; Ramasamy-Gurayah, Jayrusha.
    Employment Reference Checking is used at Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) to verify the accuracy of information provided by job applicants, such as work experience; knowledge; skill; behaviour, qualifications and criminal records. The reliability of information gathered during the employment reference verification is empirical to ensure TNPA employs competent and trustworthy candidates. The study intends to explore factors influencing the reliability of employment reference checking at TNPA in Durban. Recruiters at TNPA are of the opinion that the information obtained from employment reference checking might be unreliable. Therefore, this study will endeavour to explore and comprehend the extent of the hypothesis. Factors such as knowledge, skill, behaviour, the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) and Chapter 2 Section 14 (d) - Bill of Right underpin this study. The author’s own compilation construct is used as a foundation for this study and supported by the theory of negligence hiring adopted from the work of (Stoll & Bushway, 2008) This study will be of benefit to TNPA and other organisations that use employment reference verification, especially TNPA is striving to attract qualified and competent candidates who will contribute positively in order to deal with adverse economic challenges and cope in a global competitive environment. Reliable employment reference checking method is imperative for TNPA to select qualified and competent job applicants. The study will test the perception of whether there are factors influencing the reliability of employment reference checking or not. The study adopted a qualitative research approach and used semi-structured interviews. The study proposed a sample of up to eight participants and the study site was TNPA in Durban. The study found that factors such as the POPI Act; Ch. 2 S14 (d) - Bill of Right; using of third party to conduct reference checks; absence of reference checks questionnaire for each positions; conducting reference checks telephonically; refusal of referees to respond to reference checks request and acceptance of convenient referees other than previous immediate supervisors or managers, influence the reliability of employment reference checking. The extent of influence caused by these factors has a propensity to cause TNPA to employ applicants who do not meet job requirements and could have severe repercussions to the performance and productivity of TNPA. The study recommended a development of a vetting strategy for agencies conducting employment reference check for TNPA; to ensure agencies do what they are mandated to do in order to avoid making employment decisions based on unreliable information to avoid negligent hiring and the training of all recruitment officials to ensure a full understanding of all legislations influencing the recruitment process.
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    The challenges faced by CMT employers in the clothing industry in the greater Durban area.
    (2008) Chetty, Katrina.; Ramdial, Pratistadevi K.
    This research study examines the challenges facing CMTs in the Durban area. The researcher conducted a literature review on the evolution of the clothing industry, internationally and locally, the emergence of the CMT factory in Durban and the key aspects affecting CMTs in their current environment including yet not restricted to; imports, labour regulation, worker co-operation and CMT distributors. CMTs are the labour components in the clothing sector, providing jobs for woman and unskilled to semi-skilled individuals. Therefore, the poor performance of CMTs are cause for concern in South Africa, a country that is experiencing disturbing levels of unemployment. The evolution of the CMT factory highlights its reasons for coming into being i.e. short-run times and high productivity levels. When large manufacturers restructured to remain competitive, they shed the labour component of their operation. The reason for this move was to do away with labour issues. CMTs, in effect, became this labour component, without the benefits associated with that of a large manufacturing firm. However, the labour regulations that came into effect do not distinguish between a small business i.e. the CMT factory and a large manufacturer, as the same laws apply to both. The current CMT environment makes it difficult for employers to remain competitive, both locally and internationally, when factors such as low productivity hinder performance. The study provides vital information from the CMT employers' perspective and recommendations that have been made are practical and can be made use of with the help of the government.