On Monday, 23 April 2012 Eddie Webster will be presenting at the monthly Ndifuna Ukwazi seminar series on The rise of the workers movement and the politics of the ANC (1973-1994). We are honoured to host him. For those who cannot attend it will be live-streamed. Webster has been a constant voice in South Africa’s worker’s movement since the 1970s, working on the ground as an activist, producing and sharing knowledge as a researcher and supporting the emergence of younger generations of activists and scholars as a professor.
Arrested in 1975 for “promoting worker unrest” to being recognised with the prestigious Ela Bhatt Visiting Professorship for Development and Decent Work at Kassel University in 2009, Webster has worked at different levels of the labour movement and has no doubt made invaluable contributions to this movement throughout his career. From the new beginnings of the labour movement in 1973 to the founding of Fosatu, Cosatu, Nactu and Fedusa, Webster’s life’s work is also a history of the working class movement in our country.
As a thinker, educator, theorist and activist of the South African and international worker’s movement, he has influenced every generation’s thinking on the worker’s movement since 1973 not least through the South African Labour Bulletin Editorial Board and as a regular writer. He joined a generation of activist intellectuals from universities who held build the labour movement.
In his 33 years at the University of the Witwatersrand, Webster served as the Head of the Sociology Department, and dedicated his work to “researching and finding answers to national and international labour questions”. Webster has been credited with transforming the study of labour internationally and growing the field as an important area in the academy. Webster’s research has focused on theories of democratic transition; changing workplace representation and its relationship to economic performance; and the changing role of labour during the consolidation of democracy in South Africa. He was the founder and director of the Society, Work and Development Institute and has authored or co-authored 6 books, 32 chapters in books, 34 refereed articles, 32 research reports, 35 book reviews and 29 published articles in the popular media.
Webster provides significant insights into the passion that has made him so valuable to the labour movement and to its study in his statement that “it is not possible to separate teaching and research…Research brings new knowledge into the classroom and teaching gives you feedback from fresh minds. The most fulfilling role a teacher can play is to build the capacity of a student in a way that allows them to transcend their teacher and contribute to new knowledge”.
Come to the seminar or watch it stream live on Ndifuna Ukwazi
“The rise of the workers movement and the politics of the ANC (1973-1994)” – Eddie Webster
When: April 23, 2012 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Ndufuna Ukwazi
47 Strand St
Cape Town 8000
http://www.southafricanlabourbulletin.org.za/Home.aspxTags: 1973 strikes, ANC, Cosatu, Eddie Webster, Fosatu, industrial sociology, labour movement, NACTU, Recommendations, sociology, sociology of work, South Africa, South African Labour Bulletin, trade unions, Wits University, Working class