Rapid growth in the size and militancy of trade union movements has been a common development in the newly independent states of Asia since the end of colonial rule less than two decades ago. In these states, and in the more recently independent African states as well, government employees frequently constitute one of the principal groups of organized workers. Public servants' right of association and right to strike or demonstrate have been among the insistent questions confronting the governments of the new states.

In the areas of Asia formerly under British rule, public servants enjoy the right to form trade unions with some restrictions and, except in Pakistan, trade unionism in the public service has expanded considerably. In India, government employees other than industrial workers are allowed to organize subject to restrictions limiting membership or leadership in their trade unions to public servants and prohibiting political activity by the unions.

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