African Railwaymen: Solidarity and Opposition in an East by R. D. Grillo

By R. D. Grillo

This used to be the 1st anthropological monograph to have dealt at size with the labour strength of a huge East African undefined. it's a research of the African staff of the East African Railways and Harbours stationed at Kampala, Uganda, and dwelling at the Railway-owned Nsambya housing property. Set within the years 1964-5, almost immediately after Uganda's and Kenya's Independence, the ebook explores many of the outcomes for African migrant employees of the adjustments affecting their society. Dr Grillo describes how falling costs for fundamental agricultural items, academic enlargement and emerging wages have created a excessive call for for employment. these lucky sufficient to discover paintings get pleasure from a comparatively excessive lifestyle. partially as a result, the Railway labour strength has develop into stabilised with a low turnover of staff, the vast majority of whom deliver better halves and youngsters to stay on the town. they're, besides the fact that, nonetheless migrants who preserve social and monetary ties with their components of starting place. through pleasurable standard and private duties, participants keep a place inside an 'ethnic' method which supplies one framework for relationships of harmony and competition. The itself with its work-units, occupational teams and grading procedure presents one other.

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The ' household' was simply defined as all those sleeping in the house unit assigned to a particular worker, and each was asked to list all those who stayed under his roof on the night preceding the survey. The results, by class of house, are tabulated in Table 21. 44. Over 20% of the households contained more than seven persons. 65; see Table 7. TABLE 21. o House class All ii 7 9 8 8 5 13 6i 4-44 Towards an African proletariat? Only in the class 7 (i) houses at Nsambya do we find a figure as low as that.

The majority of households are type four, but nuclear and extended families - types three, four and five combined - account for nearly twothirds of the total.

The falling turnover rate among railway employees during the fifties and sixties is in line with what appears to have been happening in other Uganda industries, as we saw in Chapter i. It is probable, however, that the EARH labour force has in this respect been in the vanguard. The contrast between railwaymen and the traditional migrants is further strengthened when previous work experience is considered. Of respondents, 66% claimed never to have worked for any previous employer, and a further substantial number had previously worked in one job only for a short time, less than a year, before settling down with the EARH.

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