By Richard Jeffries
Even though there's a becoming physique of literature at the approach and strength political outcomes of class-formation in Africa, there are nearly no exact reviews of the political attitudes and behavior of African commercial employees. First released in 1978, this learn analyses the political background and sociology of 1 specific team - the railway employees of Ghana's 3rd urban, Sekondi-Takoradi, who're popular for his or her best function within the Ghanaian nationalist circulate and for his or her sustained competition to the elitism and authoritarianism of post-Independence governments. In trying to clarify the ideological consistency which has trained the political actions of the railway employees, Richard Jeffries exhibits how, inside of a close-knit and comparatively good group, a willing feel in their personal background has supplied the root for a shared political tradition.
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Extra info for Class, Power and Ideology in Ghana: The Railwaymen of Sekondi (African Studies)
W. 18 The Colonial Labour Department succeeded, then, in raising considerable obstacles to trade union involvement in the nationalist movement. And, although the militant nationalism of the skilled railway workers eventually gained expression in the 'Positive Action' strike of January 1950, this requires explanation in terms of leadership politics as well as the strength of rank-and-file feeling. 19 Here it is necessary merely to point out certain salient features of the railway workers' conception of nationalist aims and the most important influences on their thinking.
This situation made for the rapid development of a sense of solidarity, and of the power they possessed as a corporate group. It also facilitated communication and organisation. It was fairly easy, moreover, to communicate quickly and secretly with fellow workers 33 History of Ghanaian railway unionism stationed at the up-country branches through the agency of the itinerant engine-drivers. One further factor which encouraged the spontaneous development of trade unionism amongst the railway workers, and lent the union such significance for its members, deserves brief mention here.
17. * Fluctuations in the number of unions reflect not only growth/decrease but amalgamations. b Labour Department figures include only those members the Department considered paid-up, and are therefore incomplete. TUC estimates were considerably higher, but, for obvious reasons, must be considered unreliable in the CPP period. Nevertheless, this picture of reliance on government initiative and education in trade union establishment is largely misleading. In the first place, the figure for 1943 substantially understates the number of wage-earners already in effect possessing organisation, since, prior to that year, there 25 History of Ghanaian railway unionism was no official provision for trade union registration; and, thereafter, many previously organised groups, displaying understandable caution, were slow to register.
Class, Power and Ideology in Ghana: The Railwaymen of Sekondi (African Studies) by Richard Jeffries