This report assesses the role of labour in the recent transition to multi-party rule in Zambia. The main question considered is to what extent labour, through its policy-making organ the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), effected policy changes at the national level in a democratic direction. The report analyses Zambian industrial relations in the post-colonial period with particular emphasis on the period of one-party rule (The Second Republic 1973). The case study concludes that the trade union movement was established in a pluralist setting and has remained autonomous from the state despite strong efforts to incorporate the union movement into the party/state. The organisational autonomy of the union movement is one of the main reasons why the trade union movement spearheaded the transition to multiparty democracy in October 1991.