A sociological aspect on industrial unrest in the working environment

International Journal of Development Research

Article ID: 
7 pages
Research Article

A sociological aspect on industrial unrest in the working environment

Mandla Alfred Twala, Oliver Chimusoro, Itai Chimusoro and Jozi Joseph Thwala


Conflict occurs everywhere in South African industries and the mining sector is no exception. Mining, in particular, has experienced great conflict between management and workers, the main cause being salaries, as well as worker dissatisfaction over working conditions. The most common source of conflict between the tripartite (i.e. management, workers and/or unions) is found in arguments concerning the following: application of scarce resources, incompatibility of needs, goals and interests, different work attitudes, values and perceptions in general, ambiguity in responsibilities and roles, poor or inadequate organisational structures and poor communication. Management, for example, might decide one-sidedly to grant shareholders a higher dividend, to purchase new machinery or offer a large sum for an individual’s expertise. This, however, might not receive the workers and unions’ approval, who may believe instead that more of the available money should have been assigned to wage increases. It is commonly realised that the unilateral pursuit of goals causes continued conflict, hence an attempt should be made to manage or contain the conflict in a functional manner that takes the interest of both parties into consideration.

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