Tracing the Similarities, Identifying the Differences: Women and the Employment Contracts Act


  • Linda Hill
  • Rosemary Du Plessis



The world of trade union organisation has been a male dominated world. Men have headed the Federation of Labour and the Council of Trade Unions, and male secretaries have often represented unions with predominantly female members. The dominance of men was significantly challenged in the 1970s and 1980s by a number of women unionists, especially those representing occupational groups with a large female membership. The predominantly female unions which provided them with an organisational base have not until recently received much attention by researchers. As Janet Sayers has indicated, it is now time that the analysis of these unions "should be a priority in labour relations research" (Sayers, 1993: 219).


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Author Biographies

Linda Hill,

Rosemary Du Plessis,