An attempt to review the constitution of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) to extend the term of office of national officers from two to three terms, has sparked dispute and tension in the leadership of the union.
The national executives are divided over the proposal being pushed by a few of the national executives who have over-stayed in office.
Those opposing consider the move as an attempt by the current General Secretary, Prince William Ankrah whose second term in office has expired, to manipulate the constitution to extend his stay in office.
The Constitution of the Union, which is in line with that of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), mandates a two four-year term of office for national executives.
Mr Ankrah was first elected into office in 2007 and reelected in 2011, but has remained in office.
Currently, a conference of the GMWU council to consider whether to approve the proposal for the review of the constitution is being planned.
The conference is expected to be held on December 12 and 13 this year.
Most of the national officers of GMWU, which is one of the wealthiest members of the TUC, are tight-lipped over the matter.
However, Abdul-Moomin Gbana, Deputy General Secretary of the Union, described the move as “disappointing and distasteful.”
In an interview with ADR Daily, he wondered how a widely condemned act of manipulating of constitutions by African leaders, could be rearing its head in the GMWU.
“How can we be doing the same thing that we have condemned some African leaders of doing to perpetuate their stay in office,” he asked.
Asked about the reasons being espoused by the proponents of the constitutional review, he said the few top national executives who seem to support the move are not offering concrete reasons.
“We only see it as a grand agenda for the incumbent General Secretary to extend his stay in office,” he said.
The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU), with a 12,000-membership drawn from 43 companies, launched its 75th anniversary in Accra last week.
Section 83 (c) of the Labour Act 2003 (651) requires that “the internal organisation of the trade union or employers’ organisation conforms to democratic principles.”
Last September, the GMWU launched its 75 anniversary celebration to be climaxed in August, 2019.
In recent years, the union has undertaken various to business initiatives through which over 180 direct jobs have been provided in the banking and insurance sectors of the economy.
GMWU owns Golden Pride Savings and Loans, a non-bank financial institution which commenced operations in March 2012.
The Union 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 union also established the Mineworkers Wives Association in March, 2012.
By Edmund Mingle/ adrdaily.com