Ghana Trades Union Congress

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Ghana Trades Union Congress
Founded1945; 78 years ago (1945)
HeadquartersAccra, Ghana
  • Ghana

The Ghana Trades Union Congress is a national centre that unites various workers' organizations in Ghana.[1][2] The organization was established in 1945.[2]


The GTUC as a central co-ordinating body for 14 union groups in 1945.[2] The unions were registered under the Trade Union Ordinance of 1941. In 1954, the union proposed that the local unions be amalgamated along industrial groupings to make the union strong. The proposal was approved in 1955.[2] The union had 24 member unions in 1958 and was regulated by the Industrial Relations Act 56.[2] The first elections of the GTUC was held in 1966 after Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana was overthrown. The election was conducted to replace the union leaders who were under detention under the National Liberation Council. In 1971, the GTUC was dissolved as the sole trades union congress after parliament, led by the Busia government, passed Act 383. The Act was repealed by the I.K. Acheampong government in the same year. The union's executives were replaced in a "coup d'etat" in 1983 by an Interim Management Committee at the instance of the Association of Local Unions (ALU) of the Greater Accra Region.[2] The union in 1984 held it national congress to restore it existence and restored its constitutionality.


The membership of the organization is made up of all workers' group. A local union is formed by any five members at a work place. Various local groups which share common objectives form a national group - a local group. The local union upon formally registering with the TUC is admitted as a member of the group.[3]


The union's functions include:[4]

  • protecting the collective bargaining rights of member unions under it
  • advocacy and policy intervention concerning labour market and national issues that concerns its members.


In 2007, the member strength of the union was about 350,000 members,[4] which had grown to 479,270 by 2018. As of that date, the following unions were affiliated:[5]

Union Abbreviation Founded Membership (1985)[6] Membership (2018)[5]
Cocoa Research Workers' Union CRWU N/A 1,000
Communications Workers' Union CWU 1958 7,000 2,881[7]
Construction and Building Materials Workers' Union CBMWU 1954 39,553 10,000
Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association of Ghana FUSSAG 1972 2,262
General Agricultural Workers' Union GAWU 1959 100,000 50,000
General Construction, Manufacturing and Quarries Workers' Union GCMQWU N/A 5,167
General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers' Union GTPCWU 1967 29,185 7,500
Ghana Mine Workers' Union GMWU 1944 27,018 20,000
Ghana Private Road Transport Union GPRTU 1967 56,138 120,000
Health Services Workers' Union HSWU 1965 30,000 28,811
Local Government Workers' Union LGWU 1956 35,000 10,000
Maritime and Dockworkers' Union MDU 1956 31,085 10,000
National Union of Seamen, Ports and Allied Workers NUSPAW 1940 5,011 1,500
Public Services Workers' Union PSWU 1959 63,000 24,000
Public Utility Workers' Union PUWU 1967 20,000 10,288
Railway Enginemen's Union REU 1951 898 300[7]
Railway Workers' Union RWU 1926 8,955 1,342
Teachers' and Educational Workers' Union TEWU 1962 40,000 60,000
Timber and Woodworkers' Union TWU 1952 18,000 8,400
Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance UNICOF 2003 N/A 12,000[7]
Union of Informal Workers Associations UNIWA 2013 N/A 87,000

Former affiliates[edit]

Union Abbreviation[5] Left Reason not affiliated Membership (1958)[8]
Accra Municipal Workers' Union 2,800
Agriculture Department Employees' Union 1959 Merged into GAWU 5,958
Airways Workers' Union 98
Amalgamated Civil Engineering and Woodworkers' Union ACEWU
Bank of British West Africa Employees' Union 850
Barclays' Bank Staff Union 121
Cape Coast Municipal Workers' Union 198
Cocoa Purchasing Company Employees' Union 476
Compagnie Français de l'Afrique Occidentale Employees' Union 1,500
Commercial and Allied Workers' Union 1960 Merged into ICU 3,000
Cooks' and Stewards' Union of Western Province 1956 Merged into MDU N/A
Co-operative Movement Union 600
Eastern Province Cooks' and Stewards' Union 1956 Merged into MDU N/A
Elder Dempster Lines Dockworkers' Union 1956 Merged into MDU N/A
Elder Dempster Lines Workers' Union 1956 Merged into MDU N/A
G. B. Ollivant Employees' Union 800
General Engineering Construction Employees' Union Merged into ACEWU N/A
Ghana Broadcasting Employees' Union 1959 Merged into PSWU 507
Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board Employees' Union 30
Ghana Government Electrical Workers' Union 997
Ghana Government Transport Employees' Union 840
Ghana Housing Employees' Union 1956 Merged into CBMWU 184
Ghana Maritime Workers' Union 1956 Merged into MDU N/A
Ghana Masons' Union 1956 Merged into CBMWU 46
Ghana Meteorological Employees' Staff Union 1959 Merged into PSWU 200
Ghana Military Civil Employees' Union 200
Ghana Motor Drivers' Union 1967 Merged into GPRTU 6,236
Ghana Post Office African Employees' Union 1958 Merged into CWU 550
Ghana Societe Commerciale Oriental Afrique Employees' Union 900
Ghana Taxi Drivers' Union 200
Ghana Union of Teachers GUT 1962 Dissolved 2,349
Ghana Water Works African Employees' Union 508
Gold Coast National Union of Teachers NUT 1956 Merged into GUT N/A
Gold Coast Teachers' Union GCTU 1956 Merged into GUT N/A
Health and General Hospital Workers' Union HGHWU 1964 Merged into HSWU N/A
ICT and General Services Workers Employees' Union N/A
Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union ICU 2003 Disaffiliated N/A
Industrial Development Corporation Employees' Union Merged into ACEWU N/A
Kumasi Municipal Workers' Union 2,453
National Seamen and Dock Workers' Union 1956 Merged into MDU N/A
National Union of Domestic, Restaurant, Bar and Hotel Workers 1,105
National Union of Ghana Oil Workers 800
Postal Engineering Workers' Union 1958 Merged into CWU 1,592
Post and Telegraph Aeradio Employees' Union 100
Public Works Department Employees' Union 18,568
Sekondi Takoradi Municipal Workers' Union 600
Survey Department Employees' Union 296
Taylor Woodrow African Employees' Union Merged into ACEWU N/A
Teamsters' and Private Transport Workers' Union 1962 N/A
Transport and Telecommunications Workers' Union N/A
Union of Catering Trades N/A
Union of Teachers and Educational Institution Workers UTEIW 1962 Dissolved N/A
University College of Ghana Employees' Union 500
West African Cocoa Research Institute Workers' Union 1959 Merged into GAWU 567
West African Graphic Employees' Union 300

International affiliations[edit]

The federation affiliated to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) in the early 1950s, and in 1957, it hosted the founding conference of the ICFTU African Regional Organisation. The country's membership of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the ICFTU's opposition to the TUC spending money on a new Trades Hall building, led the TUC to resign from the ICFTU in 1959. It retained informal links with some ICFTU affiliates, and rejoined the ICFTU in 1966.[9][10] Today it is affiliated with International Trade Union Confederation, the successor of ICFTU.[11]

The GTUC is affiliated with various international trade union organizations, including the Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa (OTUWA).[4]



1945: Manfred Gaisie
1947: Anthony Woode
1950: Charles Techie-Menson
1952: A. Allotey Moffatt
1953: E. C. Turkson-Ocran
1954: John Kofi Barku Tettegah
1959: Joe-Fio N. Meyer
1960: John Kofi Barku Tettegah
1962: Sylvanus D. Magnus-George (acting)
1964: Kwaw Ampah
1966: Benjamin Bentum
1972: Alhaji Issifu
1982: J. R. Baiden
1982: Interim committee
1983: Augustus Yankey
1993: Christian Appiah-Agyei
2000: Kwasi Adu-Amankwah
2008: Kofi Asamoah
2016: Yaw Baah


1945: Charles Techie-Menson
1948: J. C. Vandyck
1950: J. N. Sam
1952: Larbi Odam
1953: F. E. Techie-Menson
1956: Joe-Fio N. Meyer
1958: D. K. Foevie
1964: Benjamin Bentum
E. O. Amoah
1983: E. K. Aboagye
1988: Dennis Vormawor
1992: Alex K. Bonney
2012: Georgina Opoku Amankwah
2016: Richard Kwasi Yeboah
2021: Alex Nyarko-Opoku


  1. ^ "GTUC". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Landmarks". Archived from the original on 18 January 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Who can be a member". Archived from the original on 18 January 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "About the GTUC". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Labour Market Profile 2020: Ghana" (PDF). Danish Trade Union Development Agency. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  6. ^ Anyemedu, Kwasi. "Trade union responses to globalization: Case study on Ghana" (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Figure is for 2012: Trade Unions and Industrial Relations in Ghana. Ghana Trade Union Congress. 2012. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  8. ^ Directory of Labour Organizations: Africa. Washington DC: United States Department of Labor. 1958. pp. 13.1–13.13.
  9. ^ Carew, Anthony (2000). The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Oxford: Peter Lang. p. 579. ISBN 9783906764832.
  10. ^ Sackeyflo-Lenoch, Naaborko (24 May 2017). "The Ghana Trades Union Congress and the Politics of International Labor Alliances, 1957–1971". International Review of Social History. 62 (2).
  11. ^ "LIST OF AFFILIATED ORGANISATIONS" (PDF). ITUC. 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-08-28. Retrieved 2021-08-28.