The history of Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, 1964-2011.
Samungole, Jacob Toka
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This study focuses on the history of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) from 1964 to 2011. ZCTU is one of the two federations of trade unions in Zambia. For over thirty years, ZCTU was the only congress of trade unions in Zambia. This study shows that ZCTU was established by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) to squash the dissention and division that existed in the labour movement. Prior to the birth of ZCTU, the first congress of Trade Unions in the Country was the Northern Rhodesia Trade Union Congress (NRTUC) which was formed in 1951. However, divisions among the leadership of the NRTUC led to a split which led to the formation of a rival Congress, the Reformed Trade Union Congress (RTUC) in 1960. By 1961, the two rival factions merged and formed the United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) which preceded ZCTU. ZCTU was formed when government passed the Trade Unions and Trade Disputes Ordinance (Amendment) Act of 1964.The study also demonstrates how ZCTU fought for its autonomy by resisting government control especially during the one party state. The research also demonstrates the relationship between ZCTU, its affiliate unions and successive governments. It looks at how ZCTU worked with its affiliates to improve workers plight in the country. It equally highlights the conflicts the Congress had with its affiliates to the extent of some withdrawing its support from the Congress thereby threatening its existence. The study also examines the relationship between the Congress and the various successive governments in Zambia. It looks at the conflicts ZCTU had with the UNIP as well as the MMD government. Further, the study examines the role ZCTU played in national development. It analyses how ZCTU played its role in national development during the rule of the UNIP government and later on the MMD government. The study argues that ZCTU played its role in national development by supplying leaders in the political arena, development a disciplined cadre of trade unionists through its programme of workers education, participate in the formulation of government policy which helped the plight of the workers and the country and joined in stopping the abrogation of the law to suit individuals as the case was when Frederick Chiluba wanted to go for a third presidential term. The central theme of this study is the reconstruction of the history of ZCTU. In doing so, this study considers the organisational structure of ZCTU, its relationship with its affiliates unions and successive governments and its role in the development of Zambia.
University of Zambia