Lome presentation

Report
Organising Workers in the Informal
Economy & Creating Decent
Employment:
We Need a New Approach
LOFTF/West Africa Partners Regional Meeting
Dr. Yaw Baah
Deputy Secretary General
Ghana TUC
Review of Trade Union Organising Efforts in the
Informal Economy: The Case of Ghana
• Ghana TUC first adopted a policy on
organising informal economy workers at its
1996 Quadrennial Delegates Congress
• Main Objectives
– To Improve working conditions for informal
economy workers
– To Increase membership and improve legimacy for
the TUC in terms of representation of workers
(since over 80% of the Ghanaian workforce are
employed in the informal economy)
Organising Initiatives by Ghana TUC
• Establishment of the Department in charge of Organising at the TUC
Secretariat to assist unions in organising/recruitment with particular focus
on the informal economy
• Establishment of the Informal Economy Desk within the Organising
Department to assist the unions to organise informal economy workers
• Appointment of Informal Economy Desk Officer and Organisers
• Adoption of Strategic Plans with Organsing Informal Economy as one of
the main pillars
• Research on the working conditions in the informal economy and the
challenges in organising in the sector/Needs Assessment Surveys
• TUC regional/provincial secretaries charged to assist unions to organise
workers (formal & Informal) at the regional and district levels
• The Regional and District Councils of Labour support unions in organising
formal and informal sector workers
Recent Achievements in organising
informal/non-traditional members
So far TUC has organised the following associate members
(they affiliated directly to TUC):
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA)
Ghana Actors Guild
Greater Accra Tomato Traders Association
Ghana Union of Physically Disabled Workers
Madina Traders Association
New Makola Traders Association
Indigenous Caterers Association (organising is in progress)
Ghana Youth Porters Association (organising is in progress)
Total Membership of 6 associate members =12,752
Profile of TUC Associate Members
NAME
DATE
ESTALISHE
D
May, 1996
MEMBERSHI
P
700
LOCATIO
N
Gt. Accra
Ashanti
Central
and
Western
Reg.
Musician 9th December,
s Union
1975
Of
Ghana
3,127
Nationwide
Greater
Accra
Tomato
Traders
Assoc.
5,500
Ghana
Actors
Guild
New
Makola
Traders
Union
Ghana
Union Of
Physicall
National
Assoc. – 31st
December,
2003
Gt. Accra –
1992
2002
2,500
AREA/SECTO
DATE OF
R OF
AFFILIATIO
OPERATION N
Film Acting
30th June,
2008
Composer,
Cultural
Performers,
Singers, Studio
Engineers
Nationwide
Traders in
interGt. Accra community and
Cross Border
Trade
ANY OTHER
INFORMATIO
N
Affiliated to
Federation of
International
Actors (FIA)
and Equity –
U.K. for a twin
program
30th June,
2008
30th June,
2008
2,000
Gt. Accra
Traders
2003
1,225
Nationwide
Workers
2003
Interaction with
Ghana Mission
to negotiate on
their behalf
with Burkina
Faso Reps.
Other Associations in the Informal Sector
(affiliated to national unions and to the TUC)
• GHANA PRIVATE ROAD TRANSPORT UNION (GPRTU)
– Transport Owners
– Drivers
– Attendants/mates
• GENERAL AGRICULTURAL WORKERS UNION (GAWU)
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Selp-employed rural workers
Tenant farmers
Inland canoe fishermen
Rice farmers in 5 regions
Cassava farmers
Cotton producers
Women groups in agriculture
Oil palm farmers
Tractor operators
• TIMBER AND WOODWORKERS UNION (TWU)
– National Sawyers Association
– Small Scale Carpenters Association
– Woodworking Machine owners Association
– Caab ad Rattan Workers Association
– Chainsaw operators
– Wood Carvers
– Charcoal burners
– Sawn Timber Traders
•
LOCAL GOVERNMENT WORKERS UNION
– Refuse and waste collectors
– Butchers Association
•
PUBLIC SERVICES WORKERS UNION
– National Lotto Receivers Association
– National Photographers Union
– Ghana Pensioners Association
•
INDUSTRIAL & COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION
– Ghana Hairdressers and Beuticians Association
– Ghana Batik,Tye and Dye Association
•
MARITIME AND DOCKWORKERS UNION
– Casual workers in the shipping industry
– National Sawyers Association - TWU
Characteristics of the workforce in
Ghana
• Ghana has an estimated population of 24
million (2010)
• Ghana’s total workforce (aged 15+) is
estimated at 11 million
• About 18% (1,980,000) workers are in paid
employment mainly in the formal sector of
the economy (including public sector workers)
• 82% (9,020,000) are in the informal economy
Employment Status of the workforce
in Ghana
Employment Status
MALE (%)
FEMALE (%)
ALL (%)
EMPLOYEE
27
8.9
17.6
EMPLOYER
5.4
3.7
4.5
SELF-EMPLOYED
53.1
56.9
55
CONTRIBUTING FAMILY WORKER
11.7
28.5
20.4
APPRENTICE
2.7
2.0
2.3
OTHERS
0.2
0.1
0.1
TOTAL
100
100
100
Distribution of Employment by Sector
Sector
Percentage
Agriculture
55.8
Fishing
1.4
Mining
0.7
Manufacturing
10.9
Electricity
0.2
Construction
1.8
Trade
15.2
Hotels & Restaurants
1.9
Transport & Communication
2.8
Financial Services
0.3
Real Estate
0.8
Public Administration
1.4
Education
2.9
Health & Social Work
0.8
Other Community Services
2.7
Other activities
0.3
Characteristics of Informal economy
workers
• A large majority informal economy workers (about
92%) are self-employed (About 4% of informal
economy workers are employed by another 4% of
employers within the informal economy)
• Women dominate the informal economy
• Low earnings
• Long hours of work
• No or Low level of education
• Lack of social and legal protection
• High incidence of child labour
• Low level of organisation/unionisation
Main Challenges facing Informal
Economy Workers
• Lack of access to credit
• Exposure to high level of economic and financial risks
(high level of inflation, interest rates and exchange
rates)
• Job insecurity
• Income insecurity
• Unsafe working conditions
• Non-involvement in national and local policy-making
• Harassment by public authorities (especially at the
local authority level)
Ghana TUC Experiences in Organising Informal
Economy/Non-traditional Members
• Organising Informal economy workers is costly in
terms of time, financial, and human resources
• Unions do not have the capacity to satisfy the
needs/meet the challenges & expectations of
informal economy workers (eg. Financial capital)
• The traditional recruitment methods/strategies
do not work in the informal sector because of:
– the huge size of the sector; and
– the domination by self-employed (non-existence of
employment relationships)
Unions need to do things differently
• Unions need to use different methods for organising
different groups in the informal economy
– Informalised workers (in the formal economy ) (This group
can be covered by collective bargaining and benefit
directly from trade union experience in collective
bargaining)
– Paid employees in the informal economy (This group can
be covered by collective bargaining through negotiations
with employers or employers associations in the sector)
– Self-employed workers in the Informal economy (Unions
can encourage affiliation of this group through their
exisiting associations or they can encourage them to form
cooperatives which can affiliate to the unions)
• Intensify the organising through existing associations in the
informal economy
• Assist informal economy workers to form cooperatives/associations
which can affiliate to the union)
• Unions need to adopt strategic plans for organising informal
economy workers (including annual plans)
• Unions need to commit financial, material and human resources to
organising on yearly basis (within the strategic plans)
• Unions need to conduct needs assessment/research in the informal
sector on a regular basis
• Unions need to incorporate the informal economy workers in their
decision-making structures (e.g. union constitutions may have to
change to accomodate informal economy workers)
• END

similar documents