TRADE DISPUTE; AN EXAMINATION OF THE N. L. C STRIKE (2018)

ABSTRACT 
Trade unionism has been described as the mechanism championing the affairs or interests of the working class against any form of internal or external exploitation. It is a movement that seeks for the improvement of the terms and conditions of their members through the process of collective bargaining. It is seen as a movement geared towards improving the economic, political, social welfare, psychological benefit and opportunity to participate in managerial functions in the organization. Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) represents the activities of the trade union in Nigeria. It played the significant role of pursuing the goals of workers in organization as well as pursuing the national democratic goals. This study examined the activities of the Trade union with a specific focus on the Nigeria Labour Congress. The study was anchored on pluralist perspective and both quantitative and qualitative techniques were employed to conduct the study. The study found that Nigeria Labour Congress played significant roles in promoting the welfare of workers over the years including the 2018 national strike. It found that Nigeria Labour Congress contribute to some extent to the sustenance of national democracy. 

CHAPTER ONE 
Introduction 
1.1 Background of Study 
Several definitions have been provided by scholars on trade unionism. Trade union according to Sidney and Webb (1894: 1) refers to a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the condition of their work lives. Trade union act (1973:5) defines trade union as: 

Any combination of workers or employers whether temporary or permanent, the principal purpose of which are under its constitution, the regulation of the relation between workmen and masters or between masters and masters. 

Trade union would have been deemed unlawful combination but because of the enactment of the act. In another definition by Bean (1985: 19) Trade union has been conceived as institutional representation of workers interest both within the labour market and in the wider society and they accentuate the collective rather than the individual power resources of employees. 

Trade union from the various definitions can be seen as a mechanism championing the affairs or interests of working class against any form of internal or external exploitation. It is a movement that seeks for the improvement of the terms and conditions of their members through the process of collective bargaining. Trade union movements are geared towards improving the economic, political, social welfare, psychological benefit and opportunity to participate in managerial functions in the industry (Fajana 2000) 

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) represents the activities of the trade union in Nigeria. It was formally constituted as the only national federation of trade unions in the country in 1978. Prior to the time, four labour centers existed, these are Nigeria Trade Union Congress (NTUC); Labour Unity Front (LUF); United Labour Congress (ULC) and Nigeria Workers Council (NWC). However, these labour centers were characterized by rivalry and rancor which eventually resulted to the emergence of the Nigeria Labour Council (NLC) (Online Nigeria, 2021:1). 

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has played prominent roles ranging from providing support for their members; enhancing the achievement of workers goal in the organization and protecting workers from humiliation in terms of unfair treatment by the management of an organization. Nigeria Labour Congress has been seen as playing one of the prominent role in the promotion of National democracy. This shows that Nigeria Labour Congress movement is one of the movements enhancing democracy. This can also be seen in the International Labour Organization and World Labour Report (1998) which states that: 

Union play important role in guiding and upholding democracy and as defenders of social justice in particular by encompassing women, minorities, consumer groups, the unemployed and the growing ranks of working poor in the sphere of action 

This paper reviewed the activities of the Nigeria Labour Congress in bringing about changes in workers’ welfare in the organizations and their contribution to the sustenance of democracy. 

1.2 Statement of the Problem 
Trade union has remained one of the instruments in which the drives and objectives of workers in an organization is achieved. Trade union pursued the interest of workers and the efforts of union came out of the efforts of workers’ desire to seek improvement on their working conditions through collective actions. The effort of the union has yield the result of social, economic, political and psychological benefits which members are benefitting. It has also provided the opportunity and platform for workers’ participation in managerial functions in organizations (Fajan, 2000). Discussion of better welfare for workers can, therefore, not be completed without mentioning the contribution of the trade unionism. 

The role of trade unionism transcend beyond fighting for the interest and welfare for workers. It also included the union strive towards achieving better society and curbing any vices that may disrupt the development of a nation. Trade union activities have been seen as one of the instruments which ensure and provide sustenance of democracy. It may not be formed for political activities but it somehow influences government policies and programmes (Ojukwu and Olaife, 2010). 

There are challenges although confronting trade unionism, ranging from internal and external challenges. These challenges are to some extent affecting the activities of the union. This study, therefore, addressed the trade union activities with a specific focus on the activities of the Nigeria Labour Congress which is Nigeria primary trade union body pursuing the goals, desire and interest of workers. 

1.3 Research question 
1. What are the roles of Nigeria Labor Congress in bringing about changes to workers’ welfare in the organizations? 

2. How does Nigeria Labor Congress contribute to the sustenance of National Democracy? 

3. What are the challenges faced by Nigeria Labor Congress in 2018 trade dispute? 

1.4 Research Objectives 
1. To examine the roles of Nigeria Labor Congress in bringing about changes in workers’ welfare in the organizations 

2. To assess how Nigeria Labor Congress contribute to the sustenance of National Democracy 

3. To examine the challenges faced by Nigeria Labor Congress in 2018 trade dispute 

1.5 Literature Review 
Trade unions have been conceptualized differently. Trade unions have been seen as an institutional representation of workers’ interest both within the labour market and in the wider society. Trade union are said to accentuate the collective rather than the individual power resources of employees,this is because concerted behaviour is seen as the essence of modern trade unionism (Ulman 1990: 281). 

Trade union in China put the party’s view to workers, they act as transmission belts. Trade unions in China encourage production and engage in political and ideological education. They participate in the allocation of the organizations profit to be retained and take part in grievance handling (Hoffman 1981 and Warner 1991 in Bean, 1985 p: 25). 

Trade union is has been conceived as an organization to which workers belong and which collectively deals with employers on behalf of the employees (Kolagbodi, 1995). Trade union has also been seen as a body that attempts to improve the term and conditions of the employment of their members through the process of collective bargaining (Adefolaji, 2013). The functions of Trade union have been conceived as economical, political, social welfare, psychological benefits and the enhancement of workers to participate in managerial functions of an organization (Fajana, 2000). The functions of trade union has said to transcend beyond bargaining agent or lobbyists but also an play an important role of election and selection of workers representatives in many organizations (Rogers and Streek 1995) 

Different definitions of trade union have more or less stated that trade union movements are mechanism championing the affairs of working class against any form of exploitation. Gallie (1978: 313 in Bean 1994) noted the differences in role of unionism in a comparative examination of industrial relation in some countries. French union was noted to be aspired to promote overall, long term worker interests rather than to defend particular and narrow job interests. Unions are said to interpret their role as that of heightening the consciousness and awareness of the workforce (Bean, 1994: 20). There are some ascendant (one party) state, the ideology of the union proclaimed the unity of individual group and societal interests (Bean, 1994: 23). 

Trade union movements have been striving towards achieving a better society and curbing the menace of antidevelopment vices including corruption that has permeated and distrupt the efficacy of the Nigeria organizations. Jonathan (2013) on a Labour Day rally, in Usman (2013:1) stated that: 

The Nigerian worker is not only an important part of our (the nation’s) history but the pivot of past, our present and our future… Historically, development of Nigeria as a nation is closely linked to the history of trade union movement. The recognition of the Nigerian Civil Service Union by the British colonial government as the first trade union in the nation in 1912 set the pace for workers’ rights awareness and the bravery and principle of agitation that manifested in the Aba women’s riot of 1929, coal miners’ strike of 1949 and several other workers legitimate demands for economic justice. As Nigerians organized rallying points for mass interest, these movements strengthened the nationalistic struggle for independence and provided the bedrock for a national labour platform as today represented by the Nigerian Labour Congress. Who can forget the dedication of all the teachers unions, the perseverance of the Association of Civil Servants, the picket lines of the National Union of Road Transport Workers or the resilience of the Textiles Workers Union and indeed the solidarity and sacrifice of so many others which has enabled the hope we have today as a nation. 

1.6 Theoretical Framework 
This paper employed the pluralist perspective to explain the labour movement. Pluralism’s fundamental assumption stated that power is distributed among various groups in society increasingly differentiated into a variety of social groups and sectional interest (Haralambos and Holborn, 2000). That is to say that industrial revolution brought about division of labour and subsequently resulted into occupational groups. These groups developed their own needs and interest, subsequently, press for its own advantage. However, no one group is seen as dominant. Politics as such becomes that of bargaining and compromise (Haralambos and Holborn, 2000). 

Trade union may be seen as the group that represents the interest of employees in organization. The ideology of pluralism has been used to integrate the working class into the capitalist society (Adefolaju, 2013). This has, however, been seen as bringing about stability between capital and labour. Both sides are assumed to gain from the opportunity of pluralism because it would bring more equal balance of power between the employers and employees (Dahrendorf 1959 in Haralambos and Holborn, 2000). This theory is applicable to this study because it basically proffers explanation to the role of Nigeria labour congress as a union which pursued the interest, needs and advantages of their members. 

1.7 Methodology 
This study employed the use of both the quantitative and the qualitative method of data collection and analysis. This study is on Trade union in the Nigeria organization and the Democratic dispensation, with a specific focus on the Nigeria Labour Congress. For the Quantitative data, One hundred and forty (140) members of Nigeria Labour Congress members (Although, many of them belong to other union such as Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT); the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ); the National Association of Nurses and Midwives of Nigeria (NANMN); the Nigerian Union of Civil Service Secretarial and Stenographic Workers (NUCSSSW) and the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) which Nigeria Labour Congress encompasses. ) were selected through a probability, multi-stage random sampling technique. Random selection was done to arrive at the population samples. 

Also, importantly, for the quantitative data gathering, a questionnaire containing open and close-end questions was utilized. For the qualitative data, in-depth interviews were conducted in order to have an understanding and a deeper meaning of the questions in the IDI Guide. Also, importantly, total numbers of five (5) members of the unions were selected for the in-depth interview. Both qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed accordingly. Copies of the questionnaire were analyzed through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. In- depth interviews were analyzed using the Nvivo and content analysis.

For more Industrial Relations & Personnel Mgt. Projects Click here
==================================================================
Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 55 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
==================================================================

Share:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Search for your topic here

See full list of Project Topics under your Department Here!

Featured Post

HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

A hypothesis is a description of a pattern in nature or an explanation about some real-world phenomenon that can be tested through observ...

Popular Posts