Explanations of union growth and decline are generally linked to trends in the business cycle which are reflected primarily in prices, wages and unemployment – an example of this approach is the Bain and Elsheikh model – explanations not entirely appropriate in a country with a developing economy and one‐party state like Zambia. Finds political factors to be a more influential and more comprehensive explanation of union growth but the relationship between state and trade unions is set to change as a result of recent political changes in Zambia. Suggests effect on trade unions and membership levels will be considerable.
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