To help the Zambian labor movement rebuild its union density, find a voice and power to influence economic and social policy, this initiative was launched to build strong trade unions through union mergers, starting with labor federations. This initiative, which is being supported by the FES, and will be implemented in several phases which they intend to culminate into a merger congress at federation level. The study tour was a one-week visit to Germany, were the two merging partners Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and Federation of Free Trade Unions Zambia (FFTUZ), had dialog meetings with: the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB). Ver.di and Union for Mining, Chemicals and Enery Industries (IGBCE).
The Zambian delegation learnt a lot on how to build consensus on various topics/issues, open information sharing and openness in the merger process. There was a lot of exchange of information, plenary and open discussions to help the Zambian delegation with all aspects of the merger process and therefore more knowledge and experiences. One of the major outcomes of this visit was the importance of information sharing to members through properly established channels as they are critical players. It is clear to see that the visit was beneficial to the Zambian delegation and should help in the current merger process of Zambian trade unions to foster strong union representation and workers’ rights in line with ILO standards.