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Home Highlights The GWU’s spectacular early growth

The GWU’s spectacular early growth

The General Workers’ Union (GWU) catered for several occupational groups and claimed a membership of 350 when it was registered in 1943. Within the next five years its membership spiralled to over 3,000. More important, it was the only urban-based organization whose influence spread to the outdistricts where it was engaged in protracted struggles with the BEC and the colonial government for the right of access to the company’s lands to unionize the workers. Their activities imbued the rural workers with a consciousness of their wretched conditions. As we shall see in the next section of the study, it was through this organization that in the rural areas the political movement in the 1950s first grouped the latent individual protest against the colonial institutions into an overt social struggle.

-Pg. 113, THE MAKING OF MODERN BELIZE, by C. H. Grant, Cambridge University Press, 1976

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