1.1 Background of the student
According to Hanson (1966), the existence of trade unions and employer’s association is therefore, useful to the state if discussions with representatives of an organization are necessary. Though, many other matters are often the subject and employer’s and their associations with employees and their unions dispute, between these two bodies is wages. He further explained that the trade unions were often over-anxious to support their claims for increased wages by taking collective action against the employers by calling for strike. The unions however, found the strike to be a double- edged weapon because the employers were able to retaliate by a lockout, if the union refused to accept a reduction in wages. However, the strike came to be recognized mainly as a weapon of last resort to be used only when negotiations have failed and dead lock has been reached. The success of collective bargaining however depends on the willingness of each side to accept and honour any agreement made on their behalf by their representatives.
In the Nigerian handbook, it is revealed that the 1st central labour organization, the Trade union congress (TUC) was formed in 1943 but is was followed in 1950 by the Nigerian labour congress (NLC) which was launched to unite the opposing labour factions into which the TUC had broken. Surprisingly, the all Nigerian trade union federation (ANTUF) was also born in 1953 while the 2nd trade union congress spring up in 1959. After all, representatives of trade unions from all over the country had met to iron out there differences. The united labour congress (ULC) was launched in Ibadon, Oyo state in 1962. On the same day, a rival central labour organization independent united congress (IULC) was formed. Between 1962 and 1964, the formation of more labour unions continued unabated and antagonisms remained in these labour forces until government intervention led to the formation of the Nigerian labour congress (NLC) in December 1975. Despite the formation of the new central labour organization election of officers for the congress, did not reflect its oneness as its past ideological bickering continued and the situation made it difficult for the government to have strong organization with which to deal. This made it necessary for the government to take control of the administration of the trade unions through the promulgation of Decree no. 44 of December 19, 1975. The decree, promulgated by the Murtala /Obasanjo Military Regime, stipulate among others that the registration of the four central labour organizations has been cancelled. Anybody, other than an appointed administrator who forms a central labour organization in the country may go to jail for two years or pay a fine of N2000. The administrator to be appointed by the federal commissioner for labour will perform the duties of the trade unions or any advisory body set up by the federal military government. He will promote the education of members of trade unions in the field of labour relations and related fields
1.2 Statement of the problem
In spite of the problem of disunity that confronted the early labour movement in the country, Trade unions constantly fight vigorously for workers’ demands. In 1945 for instance, the railway, postal and government technical workers went on general strike to press in their demands for wages increase. The strike paralyzed transport and communication systems nationwide and brought labour leaders like Mike Imodu, Wahab Goodluck, Alhaji Adebok, etc, into the limelight in the labour circle. The strike however, achieved little perhaps due to lack of unity in the labour force.
According to Isichei (1981), the coal miners went on strike in Enugu in 1949 over demand for better conditions of service but the strike was aborted by the police leading to the killing of 20 striking miners while 29 others were wounded. Another general strike that took place in 1964 over welfare, the grievances also paralyzed economic activities in the country. In the various cases, labour leaders were either intimidated or coerced into succumbing to government’s decisions due to absence of a single central labour organization to bargain effectively with government in the interest of the generality of Nigerian workers.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The general objective of this study is to examine the major cause responsible for industrial disputes in our private organization and attempt to proffer possible solutions to such problems, having in mind that conflict cannot be settled in a war front, rather on a conference table through dialogue specifically, the objectives of this study are:
· To find out if efficiency and higher productive among workers are the goal of labour and management in the Nigerian economy
· Effectiveness of collective bargain in labour management
· To find out if the success of an organization depends on the quality of labour management relations.
1.4 Significance of the study
The importance of this study is more on the desire to provide a lasting solution to labour-management conflicts in the Nigeria industries. Considering the enormous attention currently place on industrialization in this country, there exists the utmost need for labour representatives and management to develop a harmonious spirit of cooperation so that they can collectively move toward contributing meaningfully to the realization of the organization’s objectives by so doing, they will succeed in promoting the level of industrial growth in Nigeria.
Furthermore, in view of the existing fact that some government laws and decision sometimes frustrate the smooth flow of interaction between labour and management in our industries, this study promise to be of relevance by way of attempting some recommendations on the various ways where by the government can on its own create a room for the practice of progressive industrial relations activities in the country. In effect, the recommendations contained in this study will serve as a fruitful guide to government in formulating legal; rules that will regulate labour management activities in the Nigerian economy.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study is limited to Heroes Petroleum Nigeria limited in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
1.6 Limitation of study
A lot of factors militate against this research work, some of these problems encountered by the researcher were limited time, autocratic attitude of organization owners and delay from the respondents.
Considering the nature of the study, the time allocated for the completion of this work was not enough as it was necessary for more thorough and elaborate study. Since the research work was carried out along side other academic works, it resulted to a reduction of the attention given to it as the researcher had to attend to other academic calls and engagement.
In Nigeria, many people are still not enlightened as to value the important of accurate and timely information. This led to uncooperative attitude among the workers, thinking that disclosure of some vital facts needed might result laying them off. Despite these problems, the researcher was able to come out with the findings contained here in the work.