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) and just three months later, because of this, she was fired from her role at Afritex.

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. In May she was arrested and detained, alongside Obed Zuma who was also part of NUTW and was only released in December that year when the charges of instigation were dropped. After her release she was the first black woman to be made the General Secretary of the Metal and Allied Workers Union (MAWU) which was established in 1973. Between the years 1989 and 1993 June was a lecturer of sociology at the University of Natal, working closely with the Trade Union Movement and helping to establish the Workers College.  

June’s daughter is a current Ruskin student on the MA Global Labour and Social Change.

Latest tweets

@RuskinOxford   18 Jul

Today, Nelson Mandela Day, we remember activist and ex-Ruskin student Dave Kitson, who was jailed for 20 years for… https://t.co/SK4saZWtNy

@RuskinOxford   17 Jul

This day in 1936 saw the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. It wasn’t long before Ruskin students Jim Brewer and Ka… https://t.co/67B6oIpm5V