Document Sample
          (TURIN/GENEVA/BONN 3 MAY- 4 JUNE 2004



Ghana is a tropical country situated in West Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. It
shares borders with Togo in the East, Cote dIvoire in the West and Burkina Faso in
the North. It has an extensive coastline of about 539 kilometres in the Gulf of Guinea
in the South Pacific Ocean.

The country covers an area of 239,000 kilometres and has a population of 19 million
(2000 census)


Ghana attained political independence from Britain on 6th March 1957 and became a
Republic on 1st July 1960. After going through a period of political turbulence
between the 1960s and 1980s, the country emerged in the 1990s as a stable country
embracing multiparty democracy when it settled for a Constitutional rule in 1992 with
the following key features:

      An Executive President elected through universal adult suffrage for a four year
       term of office
      A National single Chamber Legislature with 200 elected members
      A Local Government system comprising 110 District Assemblies spread
       across 10 geographical regions (additional districts have been created of late)
      An independent Judiciary
      A National Electoral Commission responsible for all national elections
      A Media Commission to uphold press freedom
      A Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to uphold the
       human rights of citizens as well as ensuring administrative justice
      A Constitution which is the supreme law of the country


The following is brief general information about the country:

Population      -     18,912,079 (2000 census) : Male- 49%, Female – 51%

Population Growth Rate        -      2.7 (2000 census)

Age Structure         -       0-14 yrs : 41.18% ( male 4,123.317; female 4,068,786 )
                             15-64 yrs : 55.35% ( male 5,455,577; female 5,555,278 )
                              over 65 years : 3.4% ( male 328,809; female362,247 )
Birth Rate     -      28.95 births/1,000 population

Death Rate     -      10.26 deaths/1000 population

Literacy Rate -       64.5%


Ghana is predominantly an agriculture country which accounts for about 40%GDP
and employs about 65% of the total workforce

Major commodities exported by the country includes cocoa, gold, timber etc. Cocoa
as major foreign exchange earner is losing its hold to gold and tourism. Major trading
partners outside Africa include United Kingdom 23%, Germany 10%, United States
of America 11% and Japan 10%.

After independence in 1957, the country adopted “African Socialism” which sought to
promote collective ownership of assets as a means of sustaining unity and achieving
prosperity. Consequently, during the early 1960s, over 300 state owned enterprises
were established.

However, in the 1980s and 1990s, the country undertook structural adjustment
programmes. Public Sector reforms and privatisation became key elements of this
programme. By the year 2000, 328 SOES had been sold. Massive job losses occurred,
thus worsening the countrys unemployment situation.

With assumption of office in 2000, the current government of President John
Agyekum Kuffour fully endorsed the free market economy and declared the country a
Heavily Indebted and Poor Country (HIPC). The government then adopted a Ghana
Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) programme as a means of supporting growth and
reducing poverty.

To achieve this, it evolved a set of strategies to improve upon infrastructure,
modernise agriculture based on rural development, enhance good governance and
promote private sector development.

The following are some of the economic indicators of the country:

GDP                                          Balance of Payments (U$M)

1998   -       4.6%                          1998     -     127.9
1999   -       4.4%                          1999     -     - 60.3
2000   -       3.7%                          2000     -     - 224.4
2001   -       4.2%                          2001     -     13.2
2002   -       4.5%                          2002     -     - 13.6
2003   -       5.2%

               1998           1999           2000            2001           2002
Exports Fob    2090.8         2005.5         1936.3          1867.1         2015.2
Imports Fob    -2991.6        -3279.9        -2766.6         -2968.5        -2705.9

Trade Bal:     -900.8         -1274.4        -830.3          -1101.4        -189.9


2002           -        ç 7,150.00
2003           -        ç9,200.00
2004           -        ç11,200.00


The National Centre, Trades Congress (GH) has seventeen National Unions affiliated
to it which are organised on industrial basis. The following are the affiliated Unions:

Industrial & Commercial Workers Union
General Agricultural Workers Union
Ghana Mineworkers Union
Public Service Workers Union
Public Utility Workers Union
General Transport, Petroleum & Chemical Workers Union
Communication Workers Union
Health Services Workers Union
Local Government Workers Union
Ghana Private Road Transport Union
Construction & Building Workers Union
Teachers & Education Workers Union
National Union of Seamen
Railway Workers Union
Railway Enginemen Union
Timber & Woodworkers Union
Maritime & Dockworkers Union

Currently, the National Centre has an estimated membership of about three hundred
and fifty thousand.

Internationally, the Trades Union Congress of Ghana is affiliated to the following


Congress is also a member of the International Labour Organisation.

The structure, their composition and functions are as follows:
Delegates Congress

Composed of accredited delegates from National Unions and meets once in every four
years but can hold Extra-Ordinary Congress if need be. The Congress considers:

       Report of the Executive Board
       Audited Financial Report
       Amendments (if any ) of Constitutional provisions
       Policies and Resolutions of the Congress

Executive Board

Composed of elected Officers of Congress, National Chairpersons and General
Secretaries of National Unions, Regional Secretaries of Congress, Heads of
Specialised Departments of Congress. It meets twice in a year to implement policies
and decisions of Congress, handles issues between periods of Congress, approves the
budget of the Finance Board, settles disputes between National Unions

Executive Committee

Composed of the Chairperson and the two Vice Chairpersons of Congress, the
Secretary-General and the two Deputies General Secretaries of Congress. Meets at
least once every month to
     elaborate on programmes for implementation of decisions of the Executive
        Board and Steering Committee
     consider reports from the office of the Secretary-General
     generally assess and review the day to day administration of the TUC

Steering Committee

Composed of the Chairperson and the two Vice Chairpersons of TUC, the Secretary-
General and his two Deputies as well as the General Secretaries of National Unions
and the Head of the Women Desk. The Heads of the Specialised Departments of TUC
are ex-officio members. It meets at least once every month to consider

       reports from the Executive Committee
       issues affecting National Unions, Employers, country and others consistent
        with the Constitution of Congress. Handles any activity between periods of
        Executive Board meeting

Finance Board

Composed of nine members elected at Congress from among affiliated National
Unions. Meets three times in a year to:

       deal with funds and properties of Congress
       prepare budgetary proposals for consideration and approval of the Executive
      provide advise for financial assistance in the form of over expenditure

The Secretariat

It is headed by the Secretary-General and is composed of the specialised departments
of Congress –

Administration; Organisation & Welfare; Legal, Policy & Research; International
Affairs; Education & Training; Public Affairs; Finance & Accounts and Regional
Secretaries (11) of TUC. It carries out the day to day administration of TUC

Regional Councils Of Labour

Composed of members of the District Councils of Labour, Regional Secretaries of
TUC, Chairpersons of Regional Women Committee of Labour, Regional Women
Organisers of National Unions and Industrial Relations Officers of National Unions in
the region. Deal with policies and programmes in the regions and perform other duties
assigned by the Executive Board

District Councils Of Labour

Composed of representatives of National Unions at the Districts. Deal with policies
and programmes in the Districts and perform other duties assigned by the Executive


The Trades Union Congress has an Education Department and a Labour College
which are actively involved in the designing and implementation of various training
and educational programmes on collective bargaining, health and safety, labour laws,
structure and organisation of Trade Unions, communication, gender issues, structural
adjustment programmes and a host of others.

The Trades Union Congress has successfully entered into a partnership arrangement
with the University of Cape Coast by mounting a Diploma and Certificate programme
in Labour Studies at the University and the Ghana Labour College respectively as
means of developing the capacities of its members


Trade Unions in Ghana are confronted with a lot of challenges some of which are:

      dwindling membership and for that matter dwindling resources
      inability to make significant inroads into the informal sector due to the
       complexity of the sector
      intra union conflicts
      impact of globalisation on its activities
      inability to attract professionals to support their activities


The following are some of the forms of social protection in place in Ghana:

Social Security Scheme

This is the major social protection in operation in the country. The Social Security
Law, 1991, PNDCL 247 established a body corporate called the Social Security and
National Insurance Trust to operate the Social Security Pension Scheme.

The scheme is to provide social protection for the working population for various
contingencies such as old age, invalidity and such other contingencies specified by
law. Under the scheme, every contributes 12.5% of the employee monthly basic pay
to the scheme on behalf of the employee while the employee contributes 5%; thus
making a total contribution of 17.5% to the scheme.

A National Minimum Wage

A national minimum wage set up by the National Tripartite Committee to protect the
less vulnerable.

Occupational Health & Safety Provisions

Institutions and Agencies set up by government to enforce occupational health and
safety provisions are provided for in enactments

Maternity Leave Provisions for working mothers

This is provided for by the Labour Act 2003, Act 651

There are also legislative provisions on free collective bargaining, freedom of
association , workmen compensation, equal pay for equal work etc.


In order to position themselves well and be better equipped to deal effectively with
the challenges confronting the working people of Ghana both nationally and
internationally, there will be the need for some of the seventeen National Unions to
merge and pull their resources together.

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