Trade Unions and Democratization in Tanzania: End of an Era?

Edwin Babeiya


Trade unions have protecting workers' economic rights as their main responsibility. They have, inter alia, to make sure that workers are paid reasonably in a workers-friendly working environment. It is however not canonical that trade unions should only stick to this role especially under a circumstance where public policies are silent about workers interests. In this context, a political role is inescapable as these unions have to go beyond economism and struggle to democratize the state. This paper therefore looks at whether the reintroduction of liberal politics has improved trade unions’ ability to influence the state by making it more concerned about workers rights. It is however the view of this paper that the reintroduction of liberal politics in Tanzania has not improved trade unions’ ability to democratize the state for they are still apolitical as they were before liberalization.

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Journal of Politics and Law ISSN 1913-9047 (Print) ISSN 1913-9055 (Online)  Email:

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