How can one make work decent? Evidence from a trade-union led intervention in Zambia

Working Papers 316 Fidelis Landy, Mari Kangasniemi and Jukka Pirttilä

This paper presents the results of the impact evaluation study of a trade-union led cooperation project in Zambia. Exploiting a unique panel dataset of individuals and firms, our study is the first attempt to assess how a training of shop stewards affects the working relationship between the union, employees and employers. We use a difference-in-difference model to estimate the impact of the efficiency of the trade union project activities on the quality of labor relations and health and safety outcomes in Zambia. The results show that the incidence of discrimination on wages and the assignment of workplace duties have decreased significantly as a result of the training. While workers might use a different avenue other than the union to address complaints on work scheduling inconsistencies, the workplace training has significantly improved the communication channels between the union and the employer on its strategies and views of the working relationship. On many outcomes, however, there was no impact.

Published: September 29, 2017
ISBN: 978-952-209-166-6 (pdf)
ISSN: 1795-1801 (pdf)
JEL: J30, J51, J81, O12
Publication (PDF)