Uniwa Delegates Conference
Uniwa Delegates Conference

Mr Joshua Ansah, Deputy Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, has urged members of the Union of Informal Workers’ Associations (UNIWA) to be more committed in empowering the Union to make it stronger.

Mr Ansah said despite UNIWA’s huge numbers and the contributions to national development, issues of informal workers were often brushed aside because they do not have listening ears in government.

“Our numbers give us certain level of natural power. But it’s not enough. What we need to do is to leverage our huge numbers and our diversity to build power and to influence policy makers to do things our way. Our problems must be solved. But they will not be solved simply because we are many.

“The authorities must have a taste of our power and our influence. In some instances, we must force them to act in our favour. We can only do that when we have enough power and influence, they cannot ignore without consequence,” he said.

Mr Ansah was speaking at the UNIWA second Quadrennial National Delegates Conference in Accra on Thursday, March 28 on the theme; “Building informal worker’s power for national development.”
He said members could make UNIWA stronger and by taking care of it with their commitment.

He said UNIWA struggled in recent times to execute its mandate because of financial challenges and their programmes and activities in the last fours years were financed by the TUC and other donors.

“This Conference must take firm decisions on how the Associations will contribute towards funding the UNIWA Secretariat and UNIWA activities. The Association created UNIWA and it must be prepared to fund it.We must be prepared to contribute towards the activities of UNIWA.”

He urged the conference to review UNIWA’s Constitution and enshrine membership dues in it, adding that, membership must be tied to the payment of contributions as the only way to empower the Union financially to solve their problems.

He however congratulated them for fulfilling a constitutional requirement to organise such a conference, saying it indicated that, the informal were guided by rules and strived to abide by them.

Madam Deborah Freeman, General Secretary of UNIWA said the Quadrennial Delegates Conference was a constitutional requirement and allowed leadership to present the state of the Union in the last four years to members at the delegates as the highest decision making body of the Union.

“It also affords our members the opportunity to assess the activities of the union and to give guidance for the work of the union in the coming four years,” she said.

She said the Union in the last four years was impressed with meeting their aim of promoting and protecting their interests and adapted a new constitution and elected new national officials.
UNIWA is Ghana’s first trade union for workers in the informal economy established in 2015 by TUC.

It has a current membership of over 81,000 from 19 member associations encompassing musicians, actors, traders, artisans, market women, catered, porters, spare part dealers, domestic workers and many more informal economy workers across the country.

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