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.

Lise Rakner

Associated Research Professor