MANAGEMENT OF EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC CORPORATION (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA RAILWAY CORPORATION BAUCHI STATE)
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Management of employee grievances originated because of the problem that is associated with labour and management. Such problems are not having a bilateral process of grievance procedure led to bias and unfair treatment of the employees by the management. Again there is no consideration to protect the employee from discriminatory treatment by the management. Management treat employee unfairly without considering the conditions of their work.
However, with the end of the political crisis in 1970, organized labour was once again released from the dilemma of whether or not to forgo industrial actions in the interest of national serenity. With the civil war over labour stiffened its demands for improved wage structure and other conditions of work and employment throughout the country workers protest as a result of the realization of the poor economic status of the working class ultimately led to the establishment Adebo and Udoji commissions. The strikes that occurred during the civil war and after these commissions awards, marked the beginning of greater industrial crisis since the end of the civil war.
This period also marked the beginning of the revolutionary measures taken by the government in the settlement of trade disputes.
It is also of utmost importance at this juncture to mention the efforts of the Adam Oshomole’s led Nigerian Labour Congress (N.L.C) in the agitation for better work environment and improved minimum wage for the Nigerian workers. The N.L.C during this period also made great effort in resisting some government policies, for example increment in the pump prices of petroleum product and value added tax (V.A.T) which were detrimental to the standard of living of the Nigerian worker. The N.L.C. also during this period resisted the extensive use of casual labour by private enterprises, insisting on the permanent of at least 80% of these employees under casual labour.
At the formative stage of labour union, suspicion and skepticism may characterize management relations with labour and vice versa. This view is strengthened when one considers the unions belief that the organization with it’s enormous power and wealth is constantly seeking to surprise the labour union. Management on the other hand beliefs that the unions is poking it’s nose into it’s business there by making relations between the parties at the initial stage resemblance of that of cat and rat.
A cursory review of the nature of labour and management relations in contemporary Nigeria will no doubt be the conclusion that a significant proportion of employees and workers still reject the idea that on one hand, the two sides are engaged in a partnership and on the other hand the absence of an effective industrial relations leads to disorder which may result to strike and subsequently to lose of manpower and productivity. Operations will come to a halt and there will be a serious economic repercussion. This exactly why industrial relations is of utmost importance. How a lasting industrial peace can be achieved and maintained still remain a mirage. Hence, this study on management of industrial grievance, the reason being how to find a lasting peace to labour and management problems.
The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) came into being in Nigeria during the colonial era. It was one of the British strategies of exploitation of Nigeria resources, therefore it was given priority by the British government it is of more benefit. It was used to transport each crops like cocoa, palm oil, groundnut and other raw materials from the rural areas to the urban cities for onward exportation to Britain. Bauchi state which is one of the Northern Central States in the Northern of Nigeria is known due to her high capacity in agricultural products and other natural resources. They are one of the beneficiaries of the rail lines constructed in cities of Nigeria before 1919 by the British colonial masters. The corporation has staff strength of about 1,500 workers. The organization has high level of bureaucracy which is strictly adhered to and the workforce is arranged in a hierarchical order which enhances efficiency, order and instructions, but delays the fast movement of work.
This research tried to x – ray the factors, which influence employee grievance in Nigeria Railway Corporation Bauchi, with a view to finding the root causes of the grievances.
However, it could be said that these grievances stem from such factor as: –
- The complain of inadequate salaries by the employees of Nigeria Railway Corporation, Bauchi.
- The unconducive working environment for the employees of Nigeria Railway Corporation, Bauchi.
- The short supply of motivational strategies by the management of Nigeria Railway Corporation to detriment of it’s employees.
The consequences of these complaints when they are not taken care of by the management is that job performances are adversely affected, state the fact that job satisfaction has a direct influence on employee performance and this may rise to employees grievance.
The major purpose of this study was to ascertain the relevant issues bothering management of employee grievances in Nigeria Railway Corporation, Bauchi.
Specifically, the study is aimed at finding all the following: –
- To ascertain the major factors that give rise to employee grievances in corporations.
- To know exactly the measure used by the employees in expressing their grievances and to know the effect of its to the corporation.
- To know the consequences of employee grievances towards achieving the goals of the corporation.
- To ascertain the strategic methods in handling employee grievances and preventing it’s further occurrence in the corporation.
- SIGNIFICANCES OF THE STUDY
Due to the regular occurrence of employee grievance in recent times one begins to appreciate the need for a study that would contribute towards the development and advancement of knowledge on labour grievances and handling of labour management conflicts in Nigeria and with particular reference to Nigeria Railway Corporation Bauchi.
The management of Nigeria Railway Corporation Bauchi and other public organization will through this research study, understand why grievances occur their indisposition in good labour relations result in grievances. They will also appreciate the very need for grievances free work environment. The recommendations at the end of the work will be useful in finding ways to ensure tranquility in the organization.
This work will also help in finding the quickest and cheapest means of resolving employee grievance. Moreover, the union leaders, through this study will also learn how to utilize the instrument of collective barraging in negotiating with management to achieve positive results on grievance resolution. Individuals and groups will draw a lot of information and understanding from this study on this mechanism for expressing grievances to management. Labour leaders will be able to understand the legal procedures this study will elucidate in handing labour and work conflicts.
Finally, this research will be most useful for academic and conventional purposes. It will serve as reference for students carrying out research in related studies in the presenting and the finding can provide the basis for future studies.
This study is designed to look into the management of employees grievance with particular reference to Nigeria Railway Corporation Bauchi.
In the course of this study, and in a bid to ensure that this research achieves its aims and objectives the following research questions were designed:
- What are the factors that give rise to employee grievances in the corporation?
- In what ways can employees express their grievances in the corporation?
- What are the consequences of employees grievances in the corporation?
- What are the various ways of handling employees grievances by the management of the corporation?
These questions all put together, help us to channel our investigations and studies towards finding the root cause of employee grievance in Nigeria Railway Corporation and solutions to these grievances.
Some of the basic concepts that may look vague or ambiguous and therefore pose a threat to the understanding and assimilation of this work are concisely defined below.
Here, we mean those who carry out the task of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling with the organization.
Those who belong to the intermediate and junior cadre workers. They could be equally be seen as those who belong to the non-management cadre.
- LABOUR DISPUTES
It means controversies dealing with the terms, contract or conditions of employment or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing maintaining or charging the terms and conditions of employment.
Any complaint by an employee or by a union (some times by employee or employees association) concerning any aspect of the employment relationship.
- GRIEVANCE MACHINERY/PROCEDURE
It refers to the structure/provision set up to resolve problems, which arise in the application and interpretation of the contract agreement.
- GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
It refers to the union and management representatives, that reviews grievances after they have come up from lower steps of the grievance machinery.
This refers to one who innovates, introduces new ideals, new products, new technology and opens up new markets.
- INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
It refers to discipline concerned with the systematic aspect of employment relation.
It is also a regulational relationship between the trade union, the employee and the government.
It is also the regulation of employment relations in any employment situation by the employment or management or their organization.
“This simplest way of economizing effort in an inquiring to review and build upon the work already done by others” Seltizelal (1959:53).