In "Trade unions and the law: Victimisation, organisation and remedies of self-help" Jan Theron critically examines the historical process leading up to the enactment of the LRA with specific reference to the protection of trade unionists against victimisation. Whereas collective action and legal action are widely regarded as being complementary, Theron argues that in practice they tend to be mutually exclusive.

The major organisational rights achieved by trade unions were secured by collective action whereas the industrial court, while often recognising such rights, at the same time limited them. Referring to parallel experiences in the USA, Theron analyses the process by which trade unions nevertheless came to rely on court action rather than collective action in defending labour rights, [n the new LRA, he points out, the Jurisdiction of the courts over such rights has been entrenched.

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