Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa

The First Globalisation and Transnational Labour Activism in Southern Africa: White Labourism, the IWW, and the ICU, 1904–1934

South African coal miners, 1920s.

Lucien van der Walt on transnational labour activism in Southern Africa in the first half of the twentieth century.

Class Contradictions and Class Alliances: The Social Nature of ICU Leadership, 1924-1929

ICU

An examination of the class character of the leadership of the ICU by Helen Bradford.

The South African Wobblies: The Origins of Industrial Unions in South Africa - John Philips

John Philip’s pioneering, hard-to-get study of syndicalism in South Africa, stressing the influence of the IWW.

The Rise and Fall of the ICU: a Case of Self-Destruction? - Phil Bonner

This essay, which first appeared in the South African Labour Bulletin, sought to draw the lessons of the spectacular rise and fall of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU) in South Africa, which in the 1920s was the biggest black protest movement in the country.