Ghana Mine Workers Union

Golden Pride Head Office, Obuasi

Golden Pride Head Office, Obuasi

70 years of playing a progressive role to promote a just and equitable society

The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) is a strong, democratic and independent trade union organisation affiliated locally to the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and internationally to the Industrial Global Union based in Geneva, Switzerland.

It was founded on 7 June 1944 in Abosso near Tarkwa.

Key functions of the Union are:

1.    Collective Bargaining

2.    Advocacy

3.    Research and Planning

4.    Training and Education

5.    Organising and Recruitment

The Union has strong internal democratic structures that govern its operations and is headed by an elected General Secretary, assisted by two elected officers and a team of technical staff.

Membership

Current membership strength of the Union stands at 16,047, representing senior and junior workers in the mining sector of Ghana. GMWU organises in about 90 per cent of the mining companies in Ghana. 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, mining companies and the country.

The Union is currently faced with dwindling membership through redundancies, which mining employers have attributed to the downturn of the price of gold. Within a span of 15 months, the Union has lost 16.1% of its membership. GMWU has challenged the moral and ethical business conscience of mining employers on this stance and has called on them to diagnose all the cost drivers and holistically deal with all the elements that contribute to operational costs instead of focusing only on job cuts as the primary business sustainability measure.

Business interests

GMWU has positioned itself beyond the trade union world, and it now owns varying business interests. A recent example is the establishment of Golden Pride Savings and Loans Company Limited, set up to offer flexible banking products, financial advisory and literacy support to meet the banking needs of the Union’s members and their families. The company employs about 60 people and has its ultra-modern headquarters and one other branch located in mining communities.

Another branch was recently opened in the capital city, Accra. The ultimate aim of the Union is to enter the universal banking industry.

Community support

GWMU through its international trade union partners is executing a two year (2014-2015) community economic empowerment project for miners’ wives of the Obuasi community to offer them economic skills that support their families.

The Union has also been concerned with the increasing occurrence of illegal mining and its negative consequences on all actors of the mining industry, the community and the environment. The Union has therefore called on the government to employ a more sustainable action to uproot this canker.

Celebrating 70 years

The Union celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and has lined up a number of community development initiatives, including providing increased logistical support to a local community hospital.

•Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur (right) and Golden Pride Managing Director, Mr Johnson Asamoah Boadi

• Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur (right) and Golden Pride Managing Director, Mr Johnson Asamoah Boadi