A framework for building confidence in nuclear power for the labour union environment of South Africa
The intention of this research was to uncover the reasons for the perceived lack of confidence in nuclear power by the labour unions, and hence to propose a framework for building the unions’ confidence in nuclear energy. A literature review of the views of labour unions, globally, on nuclear power was conducted. This provided the insight to design the experiment for this study. The literature review revealed that there were five major reasons causing labour unions to oppose nuclear power: environmental impact, safety, cost, political influence and job creation. The research was then categorized on the basis of these reasons. The labour unions selected for this research were Solidarity, Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Questions were prepared on each of the five categories and in–depth interviews were telephonically conducted. The responses to these interviews were analyzed to establish the best way forward for building greater labour union confidence in the nuclear industry in South Africa. The results of the interviews showed that Solidarity was in favour of nuclear power, while COSATU and NUM were against it for the following reasons: 1. They believed that the industry would not create a significant number of jobs, and may even lead to job losses. 2. They had the perception that the nuclear industry was dominated by white people and that the expansion of the industry would ultimately result in the creation of White jobs at the expense of Black jobs. 3. They were of the opinion that the nuclear industry harbored certain secrets which resulted in their distrust of it. These findings were then used to develop recommendations for building the confidence of the unions in nuclear power.
- Engineering