Guyana: Trades Unions Material

Scope and Content

Collective bargaining agreements, pamphlets, addresses, memorandums, conference documents, newsletters, press releases, working papers, rules and histories, 1957-1987, issued by the British Guiana Mine-Workers' Union, the British Guiana Trades Union Council, the Clerical and Commercial Workers' Union (Guyana), the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers' Union, the Guyana Public Service Union, the Guyana Trades Union Congress, the Man-Power Citizens' Association, and the Sawmill and Forest Workers' Union (Guyana).

Administrative / Biographical History

Both the major political parties in Guyana had ties to the trades union movement, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) being affiliated to the People's National Congress (PNC) and the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) having close links to the People's Progressive Party (PPP). In addition PPP governments were twice suspended in the pre-independence period as a consequence of labour unrest, first in 1953 when the Guiana Industrial Workers' Union struck in favour of a piece of industrial legislation, and then in 1964 when the pro-opposition TUC organised a general strike which led to British intervention and the introduction of proportional representation. The 1964 General Strike is defended in the materials held here, which also include details of sugar trade labour-management agreements and congress reports from the 1970s and 1980s when the unions were involved in supoporting Forbes Burnham's programme of nationalisation.


Alphabetically by union, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The Commonwealth Political Parties Materials collection was begun in 1960-61, with special emphasis being placed then, as now, on "primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos." (ICS, Twelfth Annual Report 1960-1961). Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant.


No further accruals are expected

Related Material

See also Guyana: Political Parties Materials (PP.GY) and Guyana: Pressure Groups Materials (PG.GY), as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.

Geographical Names