The Impact of Strike Action in the Achievement of Trade Union Aims in an Organization

The Impact of Strike Action in the Achievement of Trade Union Aims in an Organization

THE EARLY DAYS AND DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE UNIONISM IN NIGERIA.

The pre-colonial era was subsistence economy and total absence of standard currency. Trade was then carried by barter as a result, wages employed started with the activities of the European explores like Mungo Park who needed guides and carried for their exploits and would therefore, not hesitate to engage any offering of his service paying him money in return, the royal Niger company which end the power to administer and make treaties in the basis of Niger.

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By 1990 paid employment increased more and more as a result of the intervention of the British government in revoking the character of the royal Niger company and taking over of the protectorate of Northern and Southern Nigeria. As a result of this there was an urgent need to develop the inter-land so as to facilitate commerce and achieve the chief objectives of occupation to provide an outlet for British manufactured goods and a source of raw material for  British factories. This led to the construction of access roads and rails to facilitate transportation thus more hands were needed.  August 19th, 1912, saw the birth of a trade union in Nigeria thus the Southern Nigeria Civil service union came into existence. This was later changed to Nigeria Civil service union in 1914 after the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Nigeria.

This was followed by the Nigeria railway staff union in 1919.

By 1931, the railway workers union and the Nigeria union of teachers came into existence.  The railway workers union was first embark on a strike as a result of the introduction of the hourly wages in the company. This was then led by a young  darling apprentice named Michael Alhokhamian  Ominulmoudu.

Following the passage of trade union ordination in 1938, many trade unions were formed, within a decade over one hundred and forty four (144) trade unions were already in existence with membership of one hundred and forty four thousand members. The rapid increase of trade unions has been ascribed to many factors among which are the recognition of trade unions.

By 1938 ordinance, the economic implication of the second world war, was request of a cost of living allowance (cola) by the government employee in by some nationalist, the Enugu of 1949 and the infamous government order to general defense regulation of 1942 which outlawed strike and lock outs during the war period. With the timely collaboration of the nationalist, (political) leaders the first central union was formed. The trade union congress of Nigeria, the TUCH did not last long because of fighting among the leaders of the union, cohesiveness was looking and all attempts to forestall a united front toiled and in 1950 the Nigeria labour congress came into existence. All efforts to bring about peaceful co-existence failed.  By 1953, the all Nigeria trade union federation was born. This merge was also short-liked in 1961, after independence, the union had split into two, one led by M.A. Moudu was called Nigeria trade union congress while the other half called the trade union congress of Nigeria which was led by Alhaji H.P. Nebola.

OBJECTIVE AND FUNCTIONS OF TRADE UNION.

The earlier writers on trade unionism, webs, defined a trade union as continuous association wage earners for the purpose of maintaining.

Improving the conditions of their working lives then cornnation on his own says that trade union is a monopolistic combination of wage carriers who as individual produces, are complementary to one another but who stand to the employers in a relation of dependence for the deal of their labour and even for its production and that the general purpose of the association is in view of that dependence to strengthen their power to begin in with the employers.

The Nigeria trade union ordinance defines a trade union as any combination of workers employers, whether temporary or permanent, the principle purpose of which are the regulation of the relations between workman and masters for imposing restrictive condition on the conduct of trade or business and also the provision of benefits to the members.

OBJECTIVE OF THE TRADE UNIONS

Objectives are defined as the intended goods which spells out the scope and suggest the direction of efforts of an organization. The objectives involves the following, the traditional union and socially education objective.

TRADITIONAL UNION OBJECTIVES

The traditional or functional objectives is to improve the terms of employment of its members, improve the three physical environment at work, security of employment and incomes traditionally are viewed as  striving to part these objectives accomplishes with the interest of their members directly at heart. The first and over-rising responsibilities of all trade union is far the welfare of their members.

SOCIAL/EDUCATION OBJECTIVE

Trade unions seems to be accommodating more than the function to promote and protect the interest of the members. They intend now to include what is does cribbed as the social objectives of their union. This is to say that the traditional are gradually charging one explanation why trade unions are broadening the scope of their objectives is that employers/endangerment have adopted a better attitude towards labour, they no longer see labour as a mere  production commodity that can be bought on short term basis under competitive conditions. A more human concept influenced by psychological and welfare attachment to the firm is now bearing on  employers/management towards labour because of management new attitude, it become unnecessary for trade to focus their interest to higher social needs like shorter lows and more leisure times and other wide things consistent with improvement of the dignify  of labour. This explanation would be seen as an acceptance in the light of Maslow’s theory of needs. When workers have their physiological needs to satisfied through high wages and salaries, they would now be concerned with higher needs of security of employment, social needs of esteem, status and the higher need including self fulfillments.

DEPUTATION–         This is a characteristics of an industrial undertaking. Where the management or workers or both are still unlighted and inactivated and where the workers are still in effectively unionized if at all, in such situations, the management tends to be autocratic at best benevolently despotic. The worker group, though invited to make their own contribution on an issue can not influenced the ultimate decision-infect the ones of the final decision lies with the management though the union might  have contributed. The methods of  making the decision amount to dictation, the sense of responsibility for it is not share by the  meeting and the  deputation leaves with the feeling he has decided. This procedure is unsatisfactory for while problem itself will probably give rise to further problems.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING-        This is a process of decision making. It  Over-riding purpose is the negotiation of an prepared set of values to govern the substantive and procedural term of the employment relation ship, as well as the relationship between the bargaining  parties themselves. It is an author move system of making job rules between employer and trade union. It is process of negotiation between workers and employers through their organization of a contract of employment for the best possible working condition and terms of employment. The rationale of collective bargaining is a preferment, but if an agreement was not reached the action which took place is not collective bargaining. This collective bargaining take place once collective action is involved, whether or not agreement is reached, so long as the parties have made genuine efforts to reach agreement.

JOINT CONSULTATION

The joint consultation machinery was the very first to be uncovered in both the public and private, sector. As union grew and union leaders acquired more and more experience it became necessary to have some formal machinery for dealing with the workers as a group instead of dealing with them individually as failure to do so would encourage petitions and demonstrations. It was in this circumstance that joint consultation become established with the following purposes:

1.        To set up a scheme for regular contact between management and workers as a means of improving communication and productivity.

2.        To meet the workers demand for better insight into the management of the organization for which they work.

Joint consultation was very popular among workers because it afforded them the opportunity to interact with management and to have an insight into the running of the organization. This encouraged productivity.

STRIKES

Every trade union must register before it can be recognized in Nigeria. An application for registration must in case of workers in organization be signed by at least (50) members.

For employers association by two members. No new trade union can be registered by already  existing trade union.

All application s for registration of trade unions are directed to the registrar of trade unions who is an officer in the federal ministry of labour. The application must supply the  following information, including the address of the registrar’s office.

–           Two  copies of the rules of the union.

–           The name, address, age occupation of each official of the union.

–           Official title, age, and address and occupation of each person signing the application.

The registration of obliged to cause a notice of application for the registration of a trade union to be published in the government gazette and he allows three months, for any month to consider any such objectives.

There after, he may register the union if he is satisfied. The registrar of trade union of any one or more grounds such as that the registration has obtained by fraud or as a result, of a mistake, that any of the purpose of the union is unlawful etc once a union is properly registered, it is mandatory for the employer to recognize and deal with the union legally.

 UNION MEMBERSHIP

Membership of trade union is voluntary and open to all workers. But certain employees are not allowed to form or join trade unions, they are the Nigerian Army, Navy or Air force, the Nigeria policies force, the prisons department and customs preventive services, the Nigeria printing and ministry company limited, central banks of Nigeria, Nigeria external telecommunication limited, and every federal or state government establishments. Management staffs are forbidden  from joining a trade union or holding any office in or if such membership or holding of such an office in the trade union will lead to a conflict of his loyalties to either the union or the management. Persons convicted of certain offenses are disqualified from holding office in a trade union.

UNION ADMINISTRATION.

To enhance good administration of the trade union, the law says according to section 15 and 19 of labour degree of 1973 that a trade union shall on being so requested by any person deliver or sent to him a copy of the rule of the union subject to payment, therefore of a sum not exceeding 50k excluding postage. Again, every trade union must have registered office to which all communication and notice may be addressed. On registering officer the office whose address is stated in the application for registration. If there is any changes in situation of the registered office, the change must be communicated to the registrar within thirty (30) days otherwise the officials should be liable to pay a fine often Naira (10) each for every day.

RELATIONSHIP WITH EMPLOYERS.

The relationship that should be discussed here is by answering this question; must an employer recognize a trade union? Section 22 (1) and (2) of the 1978 trade union decree has this to say” where a trade union of which persons in the employment as an employee are members, that trade union shall with out further assurance on registration in accordance with the provisions of this decision be entitled to recognition by the employers. If an employer deliberately fails to recognize any trade union registered in accordance to the provision of subsection 91 of this section, he shall be guilty of an offense and he will be liable on  summary conviction to a fine of one thousand naira (100) only.

EVALUATION OF STRIKE AS ONE OF THE TOOLS OF TRADE UNION

STRIKE AND ITS IMPORTANCE.

It has always been a difficult task for the public to really differentiate when there is a strike and when there is a lack out. For the purpose of better  understanding, both should be elaborated on in order reveal the differences the term strike as defined by section 37(1) of  the trade dispute decree act of 1987  means the cessations of work by a body  of employed persons acting in combination or a concreted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding of any member of employed person to continue to work for n employer in consequence of a dispute, done as a means of compelling their employer or any person or body of persons employed to act other workers in compelling their employer or any person or body of employed persons to accept or not accept terms of employment and  physical conditions of work and in this  definition cessation of work include, deliberately working at les than usual speed or with less than usual efficiency. On the other hand, the term lock out means the closing of a place of work with suspension of work or the refusal by an employer in consequence of a dispute done with a view to compelling those persons or to aid another employer in compelling persons employed by him to accept terms of employment  and physical condition of work (section 37) (1) of trade dispute decree No 7 1976. from the above two definitions one could then  know what is meant by strike and lockout.

CAUSES OF STRIKE

Strike is the off spring of any unsettled trade dispute and by the dispute is meant any conflict between employers and workers or between workers and workers which connected with the complement or non-employment of the terms of employment and physical conditions of work of any person.

 EFFECTIVENESS OF STRIKE

Strike is often the result of inadequate or lack of satisfaction of the union demand. It is resulted to whenever union fails to achieve aims from the management. However, before a union embarks on strike it must have to think towards making it effective by making sure that the strike impact is fault by the government. In doing so therefore, they tend to bring many factors into consideration. Such factors includes: mobilization of the shop stewards, timing of strike, effect of the union, the degree of withstanding loss of pay checks by union members, the public opinion and the role of the government.

WEAKNESS OF STRIKE

A good trade union that worth itself should always endeavor to make strike action effective. However, the possibility of making it weak by the union among themselves is not left out. Lack of co-operation among the union members, inadequate mobilization of shop stewards. Again, the adverse government intervention and the general public contribute in no small measure to the weakness of strike,  the management however does not do this alone but some tools assist them and such tools times called anti-strike tools includes lack out, strike pile insurance and strike  breakers.

 

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 This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic “THE IMPACT OF STRIKE ACTION IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF TRADE UNION AIMS IN AN ORGANIZATION (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA UNION OF TEACTERS (NUT) ENUGU STATE).”

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