The Challenge of Globalization, Labor Market Restructuring and Union Democracy in Ghana

by Akua O. Britwum and Pim Martens


The resulting labor market transformations imposed by adjustment of national economies prompt changes in the organizational strategies of labor movements. Such strategies impact union governance and undermine union democracy. Strategies adopted by the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and its national affiliates to cope with the fall-out of economic adjustment since the late 1980s included the expansion of union coverage and modifications in internal union structures to improve avenues for female and rank and file interest representation. This paper raises the major features of the challenges posed by globalization and discusses the implications of union extension into the informal economy as a response to these challenges.

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Akua O. Britwum is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and currently a Ph.D candidate attached to the ICIS at Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

Pim MartensĀ is Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of the International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development (ICIS), Maastricht University, The Netherlands. He is also Research Professor of Globalization, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.