June Rose Nala

June was born in Durban, Natal and was a Labour Activist, trade unionist and lecturer who studied at Ruskin College in the 1980s. June was a leading member of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

She first became active in the Natal Trade Union movement after working at the Frame Group Textile Plant as a weaver. Through her Trade Union activism June became involved in organising the Durban workers’ strikes between January and March 1973. In September 1973 Nala was elected to the executive of National Union of Textile Workers (NUTW).

In 1975 June was elected secretary of the Natal Benefit Fund and in March of the following year she was charged with instigating strikes at the Natal Cotton and Woollen Mills. She was arrested and detained, alongside Obed Zuma who was also part of NUTW. Following her release she became the first black woman to be elected to the position of General Secretary of the Metal and Allied Workers Union (MAWU).

Between the years 1989 and 1993 June was a Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Natal, continuing to work closely with the Trade Union Movement and helping to establish the Workers’ College.  

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