This major study of South African trade unionism traces the history of the South African Trades and Labour Council (TLC) from its origins in the 1920s to its demise in the early 1950s. The book focuses on South Africa's secondary industrialisation and subsequent changes in work organisation. By analysing trade union structures and strategies in the context of these changes, Dr Lewis shows how divisions within the labour movement were bound up with the development of production processes and the division of labour, rather than being the inevitable outcome of racial antagonisms. The early chapters analyse the emergence of different trade union strategies: racially exclusive unionism, radical non-racial industrial unionism and at the centre of the stage the old craft unions. Craft militancy rather than any strategy of racial exclusion made possible an alliance between these craft unions and the radical industrial unions which was to maintain the unity of the TLC for twenty years. This era came to an end with the rapid industrialisation of the 1940s. As work processes were transformed, the traditional craftsmen lost their technical indispensability at the point- of production and increasingly performed supervisory functions. Faced with dilution and undercutting, and increasingly hostile to the majority of black production workers, the craft unions responded by redefining membership on the basis of race rather than skill.