Julia Foudraine, International labour solidarity: The Netherlands and South Africa during the international anti-apartheid struggle, 1971-1994

This research focuses on the international labour solidarity between Dutch labour unions and the black South African labour movement during the international anti-apartheid struggle. The core of this research evolves around the complexity of international solidarity between labour unions with deep ties on many different levels (i.e. historical, colonial, cultural, and migratory).

The two largest Dutch labour unions, FNV (Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging) and CNV (Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond), have been active participants of the international labour movement since the 1970’s. Both unions have divisions that are dedicated to supporting labour unions in developing countries all over the world. One of these contributions to the international solidarity movement was their support to the black South African labour movement during the apartheid era, although both unions had their own approach.

The Dutch anti-apartheid movement, where the unions were part of, is seen as one of the strongest allies in the international fight against apartheid. However, the operation of the Dutch anti-apartheid movement, and more specifically the support given by both FNV and CNV, is only one side of the story. This research aims to contribute to the existing knowledge on the international anti-apartheid struggle and more specifically the international labour movement, but is also focused on the complexity of international labour solidarity.

Researcher supervising: 
Other supervisor(s): 
Dr. Dennis Bos, Leiden University
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