The Impact Of Trade Union In Disputes Settlement In The Banking Institution

Project and Seminar Material for Industrial Relations and Personnel Management

The Impact Of Trade Union In Disputes Settlement In The Banking Institution


This study dealt with the Impact of Trade Union on Disputes Settlement in Banking Institution and Its Effect on Employees with references to United Bank of Africa (UBA).

The significance of disputes settlement machinery should be efficient and effective, so as to settle dispute or conflict or conflict in the banking institution on time resolve dispute adequately.

This study used questionnaire method in carrying out the study. Questionnaires were distributed to the workers in various departments.

The findings of the study was that if the employees are unhappy and aggrieved towards the organisation then there will be low productivity i=under utilisation of resources and even less profit which will be very unhealthy for the organisation.

Chapter One


1.1 Brief Overview Of The Subject Of Study

Section 2(h) of the Trade Unions Act, 1926 has defined a trade union as “Any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers, or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions (Carroll, 1969).” This definition is very exhaustive as it includes associations of both the workers and employers and the federations of their associations.

Only trade unions can represent employees and bargain collectively. Individuals, clubs or corporations cannot bargain collectively. This often makes it important to determine if an organization has trade union status (Akpala, 1991).

Alberta (2002) defines trade union as themeans an organization of employees that has a written constitution, rules or bylaws and has as one of its objects the regulation of relations between employers and employees.

According to him (2002), this definition contains three requirements:

  1. A trade union must be an organization of employees. The definition calls for employees formally joining together. It contemplates a democratic organization run by employees for their benefit.
  2. A union’s governing documents must be in writing. This enables employees to understand the rules by which the union operates.
  3. One of the organization’s objects must be “the regulation of relations between employers and employees.” The exact words are less important than having an objects clause that fits this general requirement. It distinguishes trade unions from social or benevolent organizations unsuited to carrying out trade union duties.

According to Addison and Hirsch (1989) they stressed that dispute is defined as a collective difference (or “failure to agree”) on a matter concerning a number of employees, which is pursued on their behalf by one or more recognized Trade Unions and the University of Surrey. Banjoko (1996) added that such matters would be connected with the employees’ work or working environment and would include all matters that might be covered under a legally declared trade dispute.

It would exclude:

  1. Matters covered by national level negotiations.
  2. Changes required by legislation.
  3. Matters which have previously been dealt with under this procedure itself.
  4. National or regional disputes declared by one or more of the recognized trade unions with a group of employers.

Allen (1984) opined that dispute is not an individual complaint by an employee – this is dealt with through the Grievance procedure and is not appropriate for discussion within the Dispute Resolution Procedure.

He (1984) further stressed that the purpose of the Disputes Resolution Procedure is to provide a fair, structured and consistent approach for the consideration of disputes and should be instigated when all reasonable attempts have been made to resolve the difference, but such attempts have been unsuccessful.

The disputes between workers and managements are considered as labour disputes (Bean and Turnbull, 1988). However, the disputes among workers, investors – managers- employers are also taken as labour disputes in some circumstance. According to Ubeku (1980) some countries have broadened the circumference of labour disputes whereas some have narrowed it. Labour dispute isn’t defined in labour laws of our country, but clear indication is towards the dispute between employers and employees (Umesh and Ramesh, 1997).

According to Bellman (1992) labour disputes emerge because of disharmony in interest between two sides of labour relations. Sometimes labour legislation and rules and regulations of government under the legislation create confusion and hence disputes come on the surface. Disputes are also caused by third party intervention (Akpala, 1991). If the government cannot not balance itself in terms of equidistance and fail to distance from vested interests, labour disputes might arise. Inter-enterprise understanding and good bipartite relation is the key point to the settlement of labour disputes.

A dispute settlement procedure can be defined as any procedure designed to resolve disagreement between workers and their employers or between trade unions and employers. It is any set of procedural rules incorporating all or any of the following.

  1. A grievance procedure
  2. A negotiating procedure and
  3. A redundancy procedure.

Given the inevitability of conflict in the workplace and the varying dimensions with which they come, the actors in the work environment have to evolve ways and means at which resulting grievances and disputes are resolved. The dispute settlement machinery provides a meaningful approach to the employees and employers. This goes a long way in ensuring the survival of the organization in order to achieve the purpose for which it was set up.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

Why are we interested in trade union in dispute settlement?

If a trade union is “a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their working lives, the effective achievement of this task depends on an effective and efficient disputes settlement procedure.

The enactment of special legislation to forester and promote proper organization of Nigeria trade unions has become an important part of labour policy and administration. The first comprehensive labour – regulating legislation to be enacted in Nigeria was the 1938. Trade union ordinance which permitted as few as 5 persons to organize a Trade union. This was followed by the 1973. trade union Decree which increased the number of workers that constitute a union to 50. Again in 1978, the government intervened to bring out the Trade union (Amendment) decree which radically changed the structure of Nigeria trade unions from craft and general unions to industrial unions. With this restructuring there emerged better functional industrial unions and evolution of a new industrial relation system in Nigeria. There emerged as a result.

  • 41 industrial unions of Junior workers
  • 24 Senior staff Associations
  • 23 Employers’ Associations
  • 1 central labour organization (NLC).

In 1996 the Federal government enacted another Decree, Trade Unions amendment decree No 4, further restructuring the trade unions from 41 industrial union to 29. Part B of the third schedule containing the list of senior staff association and employer’s associations were completely omitted in the new decree. This has led to controversies between the government and labour movement.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

The purpose of this exercise is to determine to what extent and how effectively the dispute settlement machinery have been able to check this incidence of trade disputes in recent times via trade unions involvement. And also to find-out basically the role that trade unions play in dispute settlement between employees and management.

This will be done in the following area:-

  1. Determine what kind of problems that might arise between management and employees.
  2. Determine to what extent the management tries to solve the problem with the employees and the stage at which the union comes in.
  3. Also to examine the prospects and opportunities of the union in its bid to achieve this arduous task enhancing working welfare.
  4. Evaluate the strength and contributions of trade unions as a tool to settling disputes between the employees and management.
  5. Analyze the pros and cons associated with that use of trade unions in dispute settlement.

Finally, the study would endeavour to find feasible and realistic answer to the questions posed by the finding and investigations carried out in the course of the study. Furthermore, appropriate recommendations would be made on the modalities for achieving a more and better organized union.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Should the trade union take into consideration the reasonableness of the employee’s grievance towards the management?
  2. Could the trade unions truly represent the interests of their members or just representing their own interest?
  3. Should the members and employees respect the opinions and decisions of their trade leaders?

1.5 Statement Of Research Hypotheses

  1. Ho; Trade union should not play much role in grievance settlement between employees and management.
    H1; Trade union should play significant role in grievance settlement between employees and management.
  2. Ho; trade union could not truly represent the interest of their members.
    H1; Trade union could truly represent the interest of their members.
  3. Ho; Members and employees should not respect the opinions and decisions of their trade leaders.
    H1; Members and employees should respect the opinions and decisions of their trade leaders.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

Owing to time and financial constraints, our study shall be limited to Lagos State. The research will be carried out in United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Marina Branch in Lagos Island.

1.7 Significance / Relevance Of The Study.

The dispute settlement machinery should be efficient and effective, so as to settle dispute or conflict in the banking institutions on time to resolve dispute adequately.

1.8 Data Collection Instruments.

Data collection instrument as stated by Asika. N. (1991) is a device for collecting the data or measuring the variable which are used for answering researcher questions and or testing study hypothesis.

The technique of data collective will be basically the survey method. The characteristics of the samples are neither controlled nor manipulated but will be a direct reflection of the belief, opinion, understanding, feeling and perception of United Bank of Africa (UBA) workforce of the role of the trade union in dispute settlement in their organization. The three major instruments to be use in data collection are:

  1. Questionnaires
  2. Interviews
  3. Data from company record.
1. Questionnaires.

The questionnaires were designed to enhance the objective of the study. The questions were designed in such a way so as to avoid ambiguity. Also respondents were assured of the confidentiality use of information supplied by them.

The questionnaire was designed in two parts. Part A and B. part A of the questionnaire consists of information on the personal data of the respondents i.e. Bio-data while the Part B of the questionnaire consist of questions based on the research questions stated.

Section B was further divided into sub-sections with each sub-section representing a researcher question. The questions in section B were designed in form of liked scale in order to ensure uniformity. The questions are stated in unambiqous natures which are measured in a five (5) point scale. The magnitudes of respondents’ agreement are indicated in the 5 point scale which were rated as follows:-

  • Strongly Agree (SA)  – 5
  • Agree (A) – 4
  • Undecided (UN) – 3
  • Disagree (D) – 2
  • Strongly Disagree (SD)  – 1
2. Interview

Interview is used in obtaining verbal information from the respondents. It can be face to face or telephone interview. To ensure the validity of this instrument, an interview schedule is needed by the researcher. It has immediate response, it makes the process flexible and also it is relatively cheap when the respondent are few and at the same location.

3. Data From Company’S Records.

This is the information and raw data gathered from personal interview from staff, annual report quarterly magazine, the history of the organization and their recent project etc.

The data collection instrument that will be use in this research is questionnaire due to its advantages i.e. it is economical, easy to analyze, it is available for reference purpose, it can also be used for a large audience who may not be on one location, it gives the respondent time to think about the answer that he has to do than when he’s been interviewed.

1.9 Methods Of Data Analysis.

The abstracted data will be presented in an orderly manner using tables, graphs and diagram. Also the use of the questionnaire (Bio-data section) will be analyzed on the based of sex, marital status, age distribution, educational qualification length of service, rank/present position.

We hare various method of data analysis and they are.

  1. Correlation analysis
  2. Chi-square

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