Ghana MineWorkers Union

The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union of Trades Union Congress Ghana was founded on June 7, 1944 at Abosso near Tarkwa by Brothers C.E. McCarthy and S.M. Bissah.  It became an affiliate of the then Gold Coast Trades Union Congress in 1946 and the Miners’ International Federation in 1952.

The union was formed to protect workers from exploitation from colonial enterprise owners.  The refusal of the colonial management to respond to workers demands for improved conditions of work brought a lot of disaffection on the part of workers. The workers saw the need to come together to exert pressure on Management. This culminated in formation of the Union.

The first officers of the Union were as follows:

J.N. Sam                       –           General President
S.K.H. Cleland                –           Vice General President
S.M. Bissah                   –           General Secretary
D.K. Foevie                   –           General Treasurer
J.E. Quarshie                 –           General Chaplain

The Union at Present
The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union of TUC is a strong, democratic and independent trade union organization that organizes workers in the mining industry and beyond. It is affiliated locally to the Trades Union Congress Ghana (TUCG) and internationally to the IndustriALL Global Federation based in Geneva, Switzerland.  The Union is a body corporate registered under the laws of Ghana.

Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction of the Union includes all works done directly or indirectly in connection with the mining industry of Ghana. The jurisdiction also covers the informal sector as well as general workers in the Ghanaian labour market.

Membership
Membership of the Union is opened to all employees (both Junior and Senior Staff) who fall within the jurisdiction of the Union. Membership is also opened to staff employed by the Union at all levels.

Mission
To organize workers within and beyond the mining industry of Ghana into a strong, democratic and independent trade Union organization for the purpose of protecting and advancing the socio-economic and political interests of its members.

Vision
To become the most preferred and efficient representative of workers in and outside the mining industry of Ghana through quality service that offers better working conditions and social protection to its members

Numerical Strength
Membership strength of the Union is 19,127 as at December, 2012. This comprises both junior and senior staff members of the Union. The Union has organized about 95% of the Professional and Managerial Staff in the mining industry into its fold since 2007.

Functions

Collective Bargaining
Research and Planning
Training and Education
Organizing and Recruitment
Support Service
Advocacyi

Campaigns/Advocacy Issues

Besides its core responsibility of ensuring that its members and their families have better living conditions, the Union also engages in policy dialogue with other stakeholders in the mining industry to ensure that mining serves the interests of the communities, country and the mining companies.

Currently, the Union is engaged in a national campaign/advocacy on a number of issues that affect the mining economy of Ghana:

A well structured sustainable development agenda by the mining industry
A well regulated corporate social responsibility arrangement in the mining communities by mining companies
Effective utilization of mining royalties and receipts for infrastructural development in mining communities
Efficient implementation and deployment of the newly introduced mining and extractive industries windfall taxes by government
The ratification of ILO Convention 176, which deals with safety and health in the mines
Critical skills shortage and skills flight in the mining industry
Fairness/Equity in the income distribution in mining industry

International Affiliations

The Union is affiliated internationally to the IndustriALL Global Union Federation founded in Copenhagen on 19 June 2012, representing more than 50 million working people of 140 countries working in different sectors.  IndustriALL Global Union is a unification of three former global union federations:

IMF – International Metalworkers’ Federation
ICEM – International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions
ITGLWF – International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation

Stakeholders

Member Mining Companies
Chamber Of Mines
Labour Department
National Unions
Ghana Trades Union Congress
IndustriALL Global Union Federation
Labour Commission
Minerals Commission
Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources

Organisational Culture

Friendship
No door policy
Recognition/Respect of Structures
Politics, protocols, unwritten rules
Consultations