In 2013 the FPD released the results of a national survey of COSATU shop stewards. This project was a longitudinal follow-on to a similar study commissioned and funded by the COSATU Communications Department in 1991, which was carried out by the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE), the Sociology of Work Unit (SWOP) and the Culture and Working Life Project. The political setting at the time of the 1991 study was influenced by the multiparty negotiations taking place within the context of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA). The aim of the original study was to understand how COSATU shop stewards received information. Results of the 1991/1992 study included the publication of a book, Beyond the Factory Floor, and the launch of COSATU's flagship journal, The Shop Steward, which is still distributed nationwide 20 years later.
The objective of the 2012/2013 national study, in which interviews were confined exclusively to shop stewards, was to gain a better understanding of the transforming labour market, in particular the views of a sample of 2 052 COSATU shop stewards (from an assumed total of 30 000 shop stewards in the country) on a range of issues related to the economy, politics and society in general. The Findings Report produced by FPD and CASE was completed in mid-2013.