An Empirical Assessment of the Union 'Facilitation Effect' in the Ghanaian Labor Market

Workers effective access to mandatory non-wage benefits is key to achieving decent working conditions in the Ghanaian labor market. Thus, this paper investigates the effects of union presence on workers’ reported access to non-wage benefits. The study draws its data from the 2012/ 2013 Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS VI) and specifies a Structural Equation Model (SEM) that controls for endogeneity and potential sample-selection biases. We find that unions have statistically significant facilitation effects among workers in Ghana, that is, unions appear to play an important role in improving workers’ awareness of their work benefits. Furthermore, informal and larger firms exhibit lower facilitation effects. It is also found that despite the statutory nature of these non-wage benefits, non-compliance was present, even in the formal sector, particularly with respect to maternity leave benefits, which indicates a need for greater enforcement of these laws.