TWIUThat's What I Understand
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This meant standing up both to White managers and to other African workers, most of them older men, whose loyalty to Frame and the TWIU derived from their privileged positions in the workplace.
When workers at Frametex sought to resign from the TWIU, the company refused their resignations.
Clearly, this spirit persisted into the conflict with the TWIU and Frame management a few years later.
This, too, seemed to carry over into efforts to secure allegiance to the TWIU in 1983, as male managers pressured women workers to join the union.
The stories these workers told illustrate the pressures they faced from the company, the means by which they were forced to join the TWIU, and their clear rationale for choosing the FOSATU union instead, despite the potentially high costs of doing so.
No doubt this was often the case, yet at least some of the women involved in the battle between the TWIU and the NUTW--at the very same time the study was conducted--seemed quite capable of direct confrontation with factory patriarchy, as they challenged the authority of management, male supervisors and male co-workers alike.
Dorothy Mishali, a 'boss girl' in the winding department, recalled that a male liaison committee member told her that the 'Red Card Union' had been accepted by the company, and that she should tell the workers she supervised that 'they were required to join the TWIU'.
Other workers, women especially, reported being pressured by (male) liaison committee members to join the TWIU. Anastasia Kongola, in the slubbing department, was told that the TWIU was the only union with representation in the factory.
Confused or not, many of the women workers at Frametex, like Mkhize, when faced with the intimidating demands of White managers, indunas, security personnel and liaison committee members--nearly all of them men--to join the TWIU and the competing entreaties of union activists beyond the gates and their fellow women workers at Kranzkloof, chose the independent union.
Copelyn soon brought their cases back to the court, using the new labour code to charge this as a clear case of illegal victimization of workers who refused to abandon the NUTW for the TWIU (Copelyn 2016).
Able to read and write in Zulu and English, Mncube clearly was insulted that, when pressured to join the TWIU, she was asked to sign her union card with a thumbprint.
After resigning from the TWIU, she was called into the labour office, where a group of male workers loyal to the company confronted her, one of whom shared her surname.