Some challenges facing trade unions in Zambia’s local councils: a case study of Lusaka province councils.

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Gwasupika, Joan
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The University of Zambia
Whereas Trade Unions bargain with the employer on behalf of union members, workers are still subjected to poor terms and conditions of employment in Zambia. Additionally, casualization of labour and contract employment that aim to avoid the costs of long-term employment are common in public institutions including Local Councils. The general objective of this research is to identify the challenges facing Trade Unions in Local Councils in Zambia. Specifically, it aims at identifying the challenges facing Trade Unions to recruit members in Local Councils. It also aims at identifying the challenges facing Trade Unions to engage in collective bargaining in Local Councils and to understand from the point of view of trade union leaders, members and the executive how challenging it is to render their service to members. The research was descriptive in nature and a case study of Lusaka Province. It employed a mixed method research design to collect both primary and secondary data from 112 respondents that included key informants from the councils. Purposive sampling was used to sample key informants while multistage sampling, combining simple random and stratified sampling, was used to select respondents. To collect data, a questionnaire and interview guide was used. To analyse qualitative data, content analysis was used while SPSS and excel were used to analyse quantitative data. The findings of this research show that there are few challenges that are faced by Trade Unions in Local Councils to recruit members. One of the major challenges faced is the massive decline in employment levels over the years which has led to a reduction in union membership. With regards to collective bargaining, some of the challenges faced are concentration of power at the top and massive transfers of active union members. The findings also reveal that even though the welfare services are provided, almost three quarters of the sampled union members do not receive welfare services for various reasons which include; lack of clarity on the welfare services that are provided, the services either take long or are hard to access, lack of cooperation from management while others had no idea the services existed.
Labor unions--Zambia. , Works councils--Zambia. , Labor unions--Law and legislation--Zambia.