The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU), with a 12,000-membership drawn from 43 companies, launched its 75th anniversary in Accra last week.
General Secretary of the GMWU, Prince William Ankrah, recounted how in June 1944 a history-making incident took place at Abosso near Tarkwa in the then-Gold Coast, when two men, S.M. Bissah and C. E. McCarthy, rose up against colonial enterprise owners’ exploitation of indigenous workers in the mining sector to form the Gold Coast Mineworkers’ Union.
Two years after its formation, the union was affiliated to the then-Gold Coast Trades Union Congress.
The Secretary General of GMWU told members that as a social partner which believes in true and honest engagement with partners, the GMWU has always chosen the path of engagement through due compliance with regulations governing industrial relations practice – and this has culminated in the peaceful industrial relations atmosphere of the mining sector.
He proudly announced that during its 74 year-existence, GMWU has moved from bread and butter issues to business initiatives – and has provided over 180 direct jobs to Ghanaians in the banking and insurance sectors of the economy.
Golden Pride Savings and Loans is a wholly-owned GMWU non-bank financial institution licenced by the Bank of Ghana to serve small- and medium-scale enterprises and the retail banking sectors. It commenced operations in March 2012, and has helped address some of the socio-economic challenges of mineworkers’ families.
GMWU also acquired majority shares in Unique Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the Labour Enterprise Trust; and since the takeover, UIC’s net worth has grown from a negative GH¢2.1million in December 2012 to GH¢16.7million as at the end of December, 2017.
The company employs 47 full-time staff and has 9 branches and active agents in 6 of the 10 regions of Ghana. The union also established the Mineworkers Wives Association in March, 2012.
Prince William Ankrah said the 75th anniversary’s climax will be in August, 2019.
TUC Secretary-General Dr. Yaw Baah noted that when TUC was formed in 1945, the mine-workers union was already in existence from about one year before.
“I have had the privilege of working closely with the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union during the 25 years that I have stayed at the TUC, and I would say that it (Ghana Mineworkers’ Union) is a very important member of the TUC family. In view of the mineworkers union’s contribution to the TUC and economy of Ghana, the TUC Leadership is very proud to be associated with the launch of Ghana Mineworkers’ Union’s celebration of 75 years.”