To read this content please select one of the options below:

Online ride-hailing drivers' organising for interest representation in Ghana

Angela Dziedzom Akorsu (Department of Labour and Human Resource Studies, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)
Akua Opokua Britwum (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)
Shaibu Bukari (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)
Benjamin Yaw Tachie (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)
Musah Dankwah (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 5 September 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




Platform work challenges the traditional modes of workers' organising for interest representation. This paper aims to examine the political potential for voice and representation of the organising efforts by ride-hailing drivers in Ghana.


The study design was qualitative and exploratory. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with individual drivers, key persons and leaders of ride-hailing drivers' associations were employed. The total number of participants was 40.


The analysis reveals a bottom-up approach to organising, starting with drivers' exercise of associational power (AP) to self-organise with a membership logic. Affected by mundane internal challenges and limited by the non-existent institutional power and the near absence of structural power for right claiming, they affiliate with TUC as the traditional structural power holders for political influence.

Research limitations/implications

The study has limitations that can be addressed in future research. First, the targeted and small sample size only allows for rich context-specific generalisation. Future studies could target more categories of respondents such as vehicle owners and riders and also seek to include the experiences from other African countries to understand country-specific contextual issues. Second, the allowance for researcher reflexivity inherent in the methodology adopted has the potential for researcher biases. Therefore, a deliberate effort was made to ensure that biases remain only a potential. This was done by participant validation of the data and constant peer-reviewing of the data analysis processes by the authors.

Practical implications

The empirical findings provide trade unions with a stronger basis for and pointers to represent workers in the platform space.


Platform work in Ghana is an emerging phenomenon, and organising amongst platform workers remains unexplored.



This paper is sourced from a research funded by the ILO/ACTRAV through Trade Unions Congress, Ghana and the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC), University of Cape Coast, Ghana.


Akorsu, A.D., Britwum, A.O., Bukari, S., Tachie, B.Y. and Dankwah, M. (2023), "Online ride-hailing drivers' organising for interest representation in Ghana", Employee Relations, Vol. 45 No. 1, pp. 243-256.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles