Negotiations Needed in South Africa: Lessons to Be Learned from Labor

Journal of Business Ethics 7 (12):933-939 (1988)
There is a growing interest in the study of negotiations in order to improve its value in helping to resolve conflict in a host of areas. Unfortunately, it has not been used sufficiently in handling some of the more difficult dilemmas in the field of civil rights. This paper attempts to analyze the evolution of collective bargaining and negotiations in the field of labor relations and makes historic comparisons between the contributions negotiations has made in labor relations and the inadequacy of its use in civil rights conflict in the United States. The author believes that this failure of the parties in civil rights disputes to negotiate and to institutionalize that negotiating process in such disputes has resulted in divisions in the civil rights movement and in the failure to achieve some of the goals sought by civil rights supporters. The same lesson, the author claims, ought to be learned in the civil rights struggle in South Africa, otherwise the difficult fights involving the rights of Black and Coloured South African people will result in blood and frustration rather than meaningful progress.
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