The election of 1994 radically changed the environment within which management chose its labour control policies. Prior to the change of government in 1994 plant practices were shaped by the fact of substantial protection against foreign competition, widespread illiteracy, and a set of laws and policies that offered few protections for individual workers or organised labour. Since the change in government the political and legal environment has substantially changed. In this paper we report on management practices before and after the political changes in South Africa in a set of plants in a part of the country where many of the current difficulties of the South African economy exist in a fairly extreme form.
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