Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape


New Smith

Research associate

Alistair Smith  


Research niche/s

Research Associate – Labour Law 4.0 niche |


Bio in brief

He holds a MPhil degree in Development Studies from the University of Sussex. During the eighties, as an anti-apartheid student activist, he was also involved in the ‘coloured’ townships around Johannesburg in community organizing and labour solidarity activities. He joined the Metal and Allied Workers Union (later NUMSA) in 1986 where he served in different capacities, including as local organizer, national negotiator and research coordinator. After 1994, he worked as the local trade union coordinator of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and was also employed as a research coordinator at the National Labour Economic Development Institute, linked to Cosatu. He later occupied leadership positions in key labour market institutions, including the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) and the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council. (MEIBC). He also worked for the ILO as a specialist in Social Dialogue and Labour administration, in South Asia.

He is particularly interested in better understanding and investigating the dynamics of a rapidly changing world of work from the perspective of the global south, especially in relation to the digital economy and its implications for governance, worker organization and collective action.


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