An Assessment Of Collective Bargaining

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


Collective bargaining is used as a unifying factor or machinery between employees and the employer. It is also how conflict resulting from wages salaries are resolved or settled amicably, without too long industrial action.

This premise of this research is based on Assessment of Collective Bargaining in Unilever Plc with special reference to Top Paint Limited Lagos. The research adopted a survey research design. A well structured questionnaire was designed and administered to respondents. A sample size of one hundred (100) was drawn from the population of study. The sampling was made based on a simple random sampling technique.

The data gathered were presented in tables and analysed with simple percentages. The hypothesis formulated was analysed with the use of Chi-Square technique. It was concluded that – There are significant differences in low productivity of workers Performance due to ineffective collective bargaining, and Collective bargaining takes care of workers welfare in Unilever PIc. Recommendations were proffered that; It recommended that, the upward flow of communication would guarantee an effective feedback on how the workers are carrying out their duties and what they feel about certain policies or issues.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of Study

Collective Bargaining as the one of crucial tools in resolving industrial crisis industrial relations system, has attracted great attention, several attempts have been made by scholars to define what Collective Bargaining is.

The term Collective Bargaining was coined by Beatrice Webb in her book.

The “Cooperative Movement in Great Britain” to distinguish negotiation through authorized representatives’. After an extensive study, Sydney and Beatrice Webb (1902) found that, terms and conditions of employment may

Be determined in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Unilaterally by the state
  2. Unilaterally by the employers
  3. Unilaterally by the workers
  4. The combined effort on the part of employers and their organization, worker and their organization and representatives of the state.

Although, the term Collective Bargaining was used to cover negotiations between workers as a group and employers, nowhere was Collective Bargaining explicitly formally defined (Otobo, 1987) According to Sydney and Beatrice Webb (1902) Collective Bargaining is collective in the sense of multi – party involvement in form of decision making concerning a broad range of issue that affect all parties in the industries in tum, the kinds of issues subjected to multi – party attention at any one time will depend on the peculiarities of the industry involved. To the webs, Collective Bargaining is simply an alternative to individual bargaining. In clear recognition of the dynamic nature of social interaction, the Webbs pointed out the temporary nature of settlement in industry.

With Collective Bargaining, the right of workers to organize, to protect and promote their interests is recognize.

As a result, workers and their representative can challenge the management decision, and it involved in negotiation to determine renunciation and other condition of employment (Otobo, 1987).

The relevance of this research work is rather made to provoke and stimulate detailed scientific research efforts in these crucial aspects of industrial relations in its contributions towards the needed coordinated strategy of achieving industrial harmony in the Nigerian Maritime sector particularly and the National Economy at large.

1.2 Statement Of Problem.

Conflictual orientation within the work setting Centre basically on the opposed nature of interests of the employer(s) and worker(s). The employer is seeking the greatest possible output at the least cost, on the other hand, the unions which represent the work group is seeking a continuous employment for its members at the highest possible conditions.

Collective Bargaining therefore represents negotiations on issues which both the trade union and the management have divergent. In the state owned enterprises, collective bargaining functions according to rules established by law, public policy, and administrative directives. The process is based on the principle that workers have a right to contract with their employers as to wages and other conditions of service and that the employers recognized their right. All too often, the collective bargaining process involves bargaining relationship to the extent that is based on the principle of give and take, compromise concession and disagreement as dictated by time and situation. This research work therefore, provides the evidence of what the actual situation is in Unilever PIc.

1.3 Objectives Of Study

This research is primarily aimed at providing an independent study of the potentialities, challenges and pitfalls of the process of collective bargaining as machinery for ensuring issue of the Michigan Law review submit that “The most effective technique to produce acceptable term to settle dispute is collective bargaining and agreement of the parties and the’ best system, we have for producing agreement between groups is collective bargaining even though it involves conflicts and the possibility of a work disruption”.

The Major Objectives Of The Research Are As Follows:
  1. The general objective of the study is to make a critical assessment of the practice of collective bargaining in the state owned enterprises.
  2. To determine some of the problem that may hinder the efficient use of collective bargaining in state owned enterprises with a view to stemming those observed or anticipated problems.
  3. To highlight some of the policy implementation of the study.
  4. To proffer idea way to improve the machinery either from a normative point of view or pragmatic point of view.

1.4 Significance Of Study

The study is designed to increase general knowledge in the field of study. It is also relevant because it aims at measuring the role of the success of collective bargaining in state owned enterprises such as Unilever PIc.

Again, the findings of this study will serve as recommendation to the government on the ideal way to practice collective bargaining. This will, in tum, promote industrial peace and harmony, enhance national productivity and performance and minimize industrial conflict.

1.5 Scope And Limitations Of Study

This research work would attempt to assess the practice of collective bargaining in Unilever PIc. However, it must be pointed out that despite the great interest the research has in this topic, the research work is still subject to the following limitations: delay in filling of questionnaire. by respondents: financial constraints; since time is much precious to most people, this study will be limited to whatever information that is available within reasonable time, uncooperative attitude of some interviewed government officials or other corporative officials who are in position to supply the relevant data needed etc.

1.6 Definition Of Terms

In the case of this research project, certain terms were used, some of them are explained below:

Collective Bargaining:

Collective bargaining is defined as the machinery for discussion and negotiation, whether formal or informal between employers and workers representative aimed at reaching mutual agreement or understanding on the general employment relationship between employer(s) and worker(s) (Fashoyin, 1992).

Collective Agreement:

Collective agreement is a set of conclusion and applicable terms of employment reached between a union on behalf of its members and employer (or group of employer) which shall govern the employment conditions of the affected workers, usually during a specific period ( Fashoyin, 1992).


This means behaviour and attitude that express opposition and divergent orientation between employee and employers.

Trade Union:

Trade union is a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the condition of their working lives (Beatriceand Sydney Webb, 1897).


The worker is the one that has nothing other than his labour power to sell in exchange for a wage or salary.


The employer who owns the means of production be it goods or services, employers also come together under their own umbrella organizations known as employers’ associations which under industrial relations legislations are regarded as trade unions.


It means evaluation or appraisal i.e., estimation of the value or quality of something.

Trade Union Government and Administration:

Trade union government and administration describes the way the trade unions make policies, administer the internal affairs and bargaining affairs of the members.

Trade Dispute:

Trade dispute act 1990 defines trade dispute as any dispute between employer and workers or between workers and worker which is connected with the employment or non- employment or the form of employment and physical condition of work of any person.

Bargaining Unit:

This means any configuration, including workers and employers that is involved or cover by a collective agreement.

State – Owned Enterprises:

These are business enterprises that are owned and managed by the government


The term negotiation applies to a particular process of dialogue between people to resolve their difference and reach an agreement, in industrial relations this is conducted primarily through representatives of management and employees.


Dispute is the essence of industrial relations because the structural features of industries necessarily create stratifications, which in tum result in tensions among those stratified.

Collective Interest:

This is the interest of every member of the employees of an organization.

Bargaining Power:

It is the ability of one party in the negotiation to secure agreement on his own terms or at a point close to his preferred position.

Bargaining Structure:

It is the compass of employees and employers that are covered by a collective agreement, whether directly or indirectly.

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