1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
action also called labour strike or industrial action is a work
stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employee(s) to work. A strike
usually takes place in respond to employee grievances. Strike became
important during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labour became
important in factories and mines. In most countries, they were quietly
made illegal, as factory owners had far more political power than
workers. Most western countries partially legalize striking in the late
19th or early 20th centuries.
Strikes are sometimes used to put
pressure on government to change polices. Occasionally, strike
destabilizes the rule of a particular political party or ruler. In such
cases, strikes are often part of a broader social movement taking the
form of a campaign of civil resistance. A notable example is the
stoppage of work by the indigenous railways workers in (1932) led by Pa
Michael Imodu during the colonial era and the first general strike of
(1945) in Nigeria.
Since 1970 to present time, workers demand for
improved condition of work and wages have increased the number of strike
actions as management most times would not accurately satisfy the needs
and requests of employees even in the face of economic recession.
this study, however, we are going to examine the causes of strike, i.e.
consequences and impact in the achievement of trade union objectives.
are the most significant aspect of industrial conflict. Strike is
defined as the temporary stoppage of work in the pursuance of grievance
or demand. In practice however, it has been difficult to separate strike
from other forms of expression of industrial dispute as employer lock
out workers and workers themselves embark on strike action.
more useful to view both phenomena as part and parcel of the conflict
situation, not as opposite. Rarely does a strike occur over a single
issue for an obvious cause may be linked with several other issues that
not immediately apparent to the observation that have caused
dissatisfaction because solutions to them have been long in coming. The
actual occurrence of strike depends on several factors including
prevailing circumstances. This also goes to show that few strikes occur
spontaneously especially as there is no way of guaranteeing that strike
actions instead of the other forms of industrial action would be decided
upon by workers involved.
Each time strike occurs substantial
man-hour is lost, a good example is the first general strike of (1945),
the (1993) ASU strike where universities in the country was closed for
couple of months thereby causing set back in the tertiary institution.
Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, the two
major umbrella bodies of workers union in Nigeria mobilized workers for
an indefinite strike action which commenced on Monday, 9th January, 2012
to drive home the protest against the fuel subsidy removal of January
1st 2012. The government of Nigeria removed fuel subsidy by increasing
the price of petrol per litre from N65 to N141 on January 1st 2012.
nationwide strike affected the country‟s economy negatively where the
volume of trading on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange,( NSE) fell
by 82 percent, local flights were grounded, and lifting of crude oil
was hampered. The strike had a lot of effect on the major sector of the
economy as activities of the (NSE) that are trading slumped by 80%,
while banks complied with the strike order and closed shop, the NSE
opened for business as usual. But at close of trading, only 46.06
million shares were traded in 20 deals.
This is a significant
reduction when compared with an average 262 million shares worth about
N1.05 billion traded in 2,509 deals the previous week. The Nigeria
Labour Congress,(NLC) has led a number of general strikes in the past to
mention a few. In 2004, the Nigeria Labour Congress gave the Federal
government an ultimatum to reverse the decision to introduce the
controversial fuel tax or force a nation wide protest strike. The strike
threat was made despite the fact that the Federal High Court judgment
in an earlier dispute had declared the organization lacking legal power
to call a general strike over government policies.
It is in this
context that the research wishes to access the impact of strike action
on the achievement of trade union objectives in both private and public
sectors in Nigeria and how management policies/decisions are influenced
by workers through the representatives (trade union) to the effect of
harmonizing management polices with trade union objectives enhancing
efficiency as well as maintain good industrial relation peace and
harmony in the work place using…
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
unstable industrial relation climate in Nigeria just within the decades
has resulted in all time record of lost working hours, unprecedented
work stoppage as a result of strike action.
By October 1981,both
federal and state government were broke, by December, seven out of the
nineteen state governments could hardly pay the salaries of their
employees; by June 1982,Bendel,Rivers,Cross Rivers, Benue and Imo States
were owing teachers two to four months arrears. It was only when junior
workers threatened strike action in Cross River State and teachers
actually abandoned classes in Bendel State after not receiving January
salaries as at April 1982 that both government cleared part of the
outstanding amount .
In the first six months of the year 1982,
Nigeria lost a total of 4,598 man- hours because of strike action by
workers. The recent strike action embarked by Nigeria Labour Congress in
January, 2012 has cost the country millions of naira as all the sectors
of the economy which engage in productivity activities in order to
boost the gross domestic product of the economy were closed down for
couples of days.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this
study is to probe into the effectiveness of strike action as a means of
achieving union objectives from the management. This study is based on a
case study of EMENITE LIMITED ENUGU
Precisely, the study is focused
on following issues, tools for achieving union demands from management
using strike as the major tools in achieving union objectives.
recommendation which will be based mainly on the findings of the
research will be implemented to strengthen the effectiveness of strike
action as means of achieving union objectives. If on the other hand, the
study suggest a better way of achieving union aims than strike, then of
course the mentored will be recommended.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research work
focuses particularly on the impact of strike on the achievement of
trade union in an organization. The research is conducted to cover and
improve the management of organization focusing on the company EMINITE
LIMITED, ENUGU. For this reason therefore, the researcher has consulted
several reviews, on issues of strike and trade union to include text
books industrial relation, management, social sciences, dissertations
from academicians on related issues, Newspaper edits journal etc. the
work would be very large if all the argument of the different authors
are presented, but they have been carefully selected so that only issues
particularly concentrating on the impact of strikes on the achievement
of trade objectives are considered.
1.5 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
A work of
this nature is not easy to accomplish for its wide scope and for the
expense it would involve such as financial problems, time constraint,
apathy on the part of respondent and bureaucratic
procedure involved in releasing data in the organization of my case
study. The research would have been more expensive and capital intensive
if it were to cover all the public sectors corporation in the country,
thus the research area is limited to……
1.6 RESEACH QUESTIONS
1. Does the existence of trade union lead to increase strike action?
2. Does collective bargaining lead to human resource practices which help in the achievement of union objective?
3. Do trade unions influence the making and implementation of management polices?
4. Has the trade union activities affected the organization objective negatively?
5. Is the union management effective?
6. Does union undertake peaceful dialogue as a means of setting trade dispute between management and the employee?
7. How good is the union management relation of the organization?
8. Does the management respond to the union positively?
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
formulates the following hypothesis based on the objectives and problems
identified for the purpose of this research work, stating them in both
Null and alternate forms.
1. Ho: Organizational objectives are low where there is a strong and viable trade union.
H1: Organizational objectives are high where there is a strong and viable trade union.
2. Ho: Trade union and management do not co-operate to raise organizational objectives
H1: Trade union and management co-operate to raise organizational objectives
3. Ho: There is no significant relationship between the activities of trade union and organizational objectives.
H1: There is a significant relationship between the activities of trade union and organizational objectives.
4. Ho: Unstable union- management relationship has no significant effect on the organizational objective
H1: Unstable union- management relationship has significant effect on the organizational objective
5. Ho: Trade union activities do not influence the making and implementation of management policies in the organization.
6. H1: Trade union activities influence the making and implementation of management policies in the organization.
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work will be relevant to management and employee
will be beneficial to other public sectors in Nigeria; it will also be
of importance to government, academicians, potential and future
researchers on the issue of the impact of strike action on the
achievement of trade union objectives in
an organization. This
empirical study is also important for the reward of Bachelor of Science
(B.SC) in industrial relation and personnel management.
will also identify how management and union can co-operate to enhance
the achievement of trade union objectives in an organization. It will
provide a basis for trade union re-orientation objectives are achieved
for better and harmonious industrial relationship. It will also provide a
frame work for management and union to relate for increase productivity
and good condition of service.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
STRIKE: Strike is defined as a temporary stoppage of work in the pursuance of a grievance or demand.
UNION: Is a combination of workers who are wages or salary earners form
for the purpose of regulating work terms and condition for maintenance
and improving the employment condition of their members.
CONDITION: A comfortable environment (condition of floor and workroom,
dressing rooms and cafeteria, temperature and humidity, cleanliness,
comfort and safety (of floors, tools and so fort) and efficiency (steady
product flow, adequate wage and salary, performance approval,
incentive, motivation and welfare services.
GRIEVANCE: situation of dissatisfaction on the part of the worker of the organization.
Refers to worker(s), person(s) responsible for carrying out day to day
activities of the organization toward achieving the target goals.
EMPLOYER: Refers to the management board, one who engages human and material resources for the production of goods and services.
MANAGEMENT: Refers in this study to be the body employer and its representatives, foremen and supervisors inclusive.
Is any argument or disagreement between employer and workers, or
between workers and workers which is concerned with the employment and
non employment conditions of work of any person.
WORK: This implies
any kind of purposive action i.e. whether paid or unpaid, full time or
part time, formal or informal with reference to an organization; it used
to imply the operation involved in a particular job or work.
A group of people brought together for the purpose of achieving certain
objectives, while these members may change the role of organization
which is its basic unit is maintained.
LABOUR RELATION/INDUSTRIAL RELATION
refers to the totality of interaction between an organization‟s
management and the organized labour/trade union. Its purpose is to serve
the interest of both the state and the working classes. It is often
called collective bargaining. It is not only for industrial or
manufacturing context, but extends also to issues and procedure
concerning employment in any working environment.
BARGAINING: is a process of discussion and negotiation between two
parties one or both of whom is a group of persons acting in consent.
refers to the action of an employer in temporarily closing down or
shutting down the undertaking or refusing to provide its employees with
work with intention of forcing them to either to accept the demand made
by them or to withdraw the demand made by them on him.
LABOUR FORCE: they refer to the collection of people who are available to perform work in an economy or organization.
A set rules or principle to guide the activities of the members of an
organization towards the achievement of a given objective or purpose
within a specific time.
HARMONY: Used in this study to mean peace among the workers and management.
SYSTEM: This means chain or line of operational activities.
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT: This is a contract of employment negotiated between management and a union.
As a function unit, it means a system by which something is kept in
action through which a desired result is obtained.
1.10 THEORITICAL FRAMEWORK
framework is defined as a theoretical mirror or pillar upon which
research work are seen. The importance of it can not be over emphasized.
According to Obassi (1999:9), it is a device or scheme for adopting or
applying the assumption, a theoretical framework is a way of describing,
analyzing, interpreting and predicting phenomenon, it has the
potentiality to provide the significance rational of a study. Therefore,
it provides the theoretical framework of this study is based on
interactionistic perspective organization. A more recent view of
conflict is a positive force and necessary for effective performance.
This approach encourages a minimum level of conflict within the group in
order to encourage self criticism, change and innovation and to help
prevent apathy or to quest a tolerance for harmony and the status quo.
the overall background of the research.
perse is not necessarily good or bad but an inevitable feature of
organizational life and should be judged in terms of its effect on
Even if organization has taken great care to try and
avoid conflict, it will still occur. Conflict must continue to emerge
despite attempts to suppress it.
For long, the strike as been
recognized as a legitimate weapon of workmen for ventilating their
grievance or seeking enforcement of right. But it is not a fundamental
right because otherwise, it could not have been controlled by statutes
like the Industrial dispute Act. The Indian constitution does not
consider the right to strike as a fundamental right.
right to resort to strike has been recognized by defining the
circumstances under which a strike is to be regarded as illegal. The
right to strike, however, is not unjustified; it is a relative right
which can be exercised with due regard to the right workers. A strike
therefore, should be used as a weapon only as the last resort when all
avenues have proved futile and so long as it is used in a restrained
peaceful manner for good and justifiable reasons.
recognized the workers right to strike but he warned that such a strike
should be conducted when all other methods have failed. The national
commission on labour is of the opinion that “The right to strike and the
right to lockout with reasonable restraint have been recognized in all
democratic societies, though the degree of freedom grated for the
exercise has varied in different countries. According to the social,
economic and political system prevailing there”
BACKGROUND/ HISTORY OF THE STUDY
Ltd is an abestor roofing ceiling sheet producing company incorporated
in (1961) with registration number Rc 2712. It started operations in
(1963). The company is a member of the Belgium Etex group.
company is a joint venture between the eteroutremer society Anonyme of
Belgium (now Etex group S.A) and the Anambra and Imo state (now Anambra,
Enugu, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi state) government with a shareholding capacity
of 51% and 45% respectively as at March, 24 (1988).
The company was
formerly named Turner Abestor cement company Nigeria limited, with
shareholder of 80% to Turner and Newall Ltd and government of eastern
Nigeria 20% as at 1961. In 1973 due to the decree on indigenization, the
shareholding changed to Turner and Newall Ltd with 60% to the company
and 40% to Eastern government as the company changes its name to Turner
building products (Emene) limited.
In 1988 after Turner and Newall
diverted interest in the company, it transferred it 51% shareholding to
Eteroutremer society Anonyme of Belgium (Now Etex group S.A) The
remaining share of 45% went to the Easter government of Nigeria and had a
change of name which is known as Emenite up to date.