Since the GWU was founded in 1943 and the subsequent revival of the Maltese Labour Movement immediately after World War II, the General Workers' Union and the Malta Labour Party worked fervently towards the same aims thus enhancing the well being of the Maltese population in general and the working class in particular. The labour movement was solidified in May 1978 when the Union's National Council and the Labour Party's Executive Committee signed a socio-political pact leading to the fusion of the two organisations. The pact was based on three principles: (a) a union-party Liaison structure; (b) representation on each other's executive committees and (c) representation of the GWU in the Cabinet of Ministers during Labour Governments. One has to note that the offer for a seat in the Cabinet of Ministers was made to all trade unions, however it was the GWU only that accepted the offer. This meant that the Maltese trade unions, other than the GWU, lost the opportunity to discuss labour relations at the nation's highest executive level.
The development in the party-union relations resulted in a healthy social security system that gradually transformed the Island into a modern an efficient welfare-state that cared for the people from the cradle to the grave. During such time, Malta saw the introduction of various social benefits, namely the establishment of a minimum wage, childrens' allowances, improved unemployment benefits, and a two-thirds pension system. All thgis pushed to a heightened level the standard of living of the working class. The most important and radical changes were achieved between 1971 and 1980 during the social democratic rule by the Malta Labour Party.
One can easily point out that through its endeavours, the GWU revolutionised the local world of work in while always playing a leading role in most social changes and reforms - very often radical - that were introduced in the country along the years.
To fulfill effectively its aims the GWU sought to give its contribution in the political, social and economic life of the country. This task was of benefit to both the union's members and the public at large.
In this sense one cannot draw a line and separate the GWU from the social and economic progress in Malta. This is only one logical consideration. The importance and the influence of the GWU, coupled with its achievements make it an indispensable national institution.