Industrial Conflict And Conflict Management In The Nigerian Banking Industry

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Chapter One

Background To The Study

1.1 Introduction

The banking sector generally plays a significant role and is also a key reflector of the economic achievement and development of any nation. Industrial conflict in the banking institutions like any modern industry cannot be avoided. Conflict is a characteristic of every human society especially since human beings exhibits different characteristics of even under the same prevailing environment. This is more so when interaction is unvoiced in a work place where some dictate and others obey.

Trade dispute have generated considerable academic interest among industrial relations practitioners, managers, economist etc. This is as a result of incessant grievances, characteristics of industrial scene which constitute a serious threat to industrial harmony necessary for high productivity. The realization of organizational objectives according to personnel managers is as a result of social concession and harmony in the industry achieved through mutual co-operation of all the sectors in the work place. To them, conflict is viewed as instrument in affecting a social change.

In Nigeria banking sector, industrial conflict are caused by various internal factors; such as: Company’s disciplinary measures, inter and intra personal clashes, style of management, high handedness of management officials, corrupt union and management leadership, alleged refusal of management of bargain impartially, violations of contract of employment, victimization of union officials. While the external factors include government labour policies, rapid technological or structural changes etc.

Industrial conflicts are often manifested by workers through lack of commitment, work stoppage, absenteeism, go Slows, labour turnover, sabotage, strike, mass demonstration and lockouts, the resolution of industrial conflict government by the trade disputes, decrees No 7, as amended stipulates that both parties adhere to existing conflict management producers as agreed to. It is only where such trade disputes decrees fails or does not exist that relevant provision of the decree can be applied. It is also pertinent to point out that agreement reached by parties to a dispute are not legally binding on the parties it have any force of law.

In the banking industry today, the National Union of Banks Insurance and Financial Institution [NBIFI] represents and protects the collective interest of all junior staff that exists. While the Association of Senior Staff Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions [ASSBIFI] serves interest of the senior staffs. The employers in the industry also have a body serving their collective interest, which is the Nigerian Employers Association of Banks Insurance and Allied Institute [NEABIAI].

It is against the various theoretical analyses that this study is being carried out. The study is aimed at investigating the causes and type of industrial conflicts and conflict management in the Banking industry both for junior and senior staff taking the Union Bank of Nigerian Plc as a case study.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Modern employment is carried out under dynamic conditions especially the Banking industry. Incidences of industrial conflicts, dispute, strikes, lockouts etc. in industries have become so rampant that it has generated much concern not only among employers of labour but also among employees themselves and government. The magnitude of the problem which incessant conflict generate to employers can best be understood when one considers the attendant loss in productivity, reduced profits, suspicion, damage to company’s properties, lack of continuity of operation, lack of good corporate image and identity, and in some cases eventually closure of organisation. To the employees; conflicts results in poor interpersonal relationships, loss of pay, termination and dismissal etc and lastly to the government, industrial conflict not only has the potency of reducing taxes payable to the government, it also causes social disorder and instability, mass unemployment and rising costs of commodity there by making it difficult if not impossible for government to fulfill its obligation to its citizens.

Formal indications, the industrial actors seem to be unaware of the essence of industrial harmony as a contributory factor towards high productivity, which enhances the nation’s economy.

It is against this background or problems that this study was conducted to investigate why industrial dispute are high in the banking industry and also if there could be possible ways of finding lasting solutions for minimizing and managing conflicts.

1.3 Research Methodology

A study on industrial conflicts and management in the Banking Sector involves taking notices of the totality of the area under study. In this regard, this study would involve the application of two methods, which has being characterized into two processes, which are:

1.4 Primary Data

This consists of informal interviews and participant observations, administering, collating and analyzing, which implies examine two different views. The study being descriptive in nature will allow mostly the use of informal interviews.

1.5 Secondary Data

This other sources of information would include office records such as flies, monthly and quarterly reports, journals, magazines, union constitutions and handbook etc.

1.6 Objectives Of Study

The objectives of this study includes the following:

  1. To set a value on the nature, causes and types of industrial conflicts existing in Union Bank Nigeria Plc.
  2. To appraise the nature of labour – management relations existing in the bank
  3. To find out and appraise the role of the various trade unions in the management of industrial conflict.
  4. To appraise the effectiveness of conflict settlement procedures in the banking sector
  5. Lastly to evaluate the industrial relations situation and make valuable recommendations for effective conflict management in order to promote industrial peace.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

A major limitation to this research work will be discouragement and uncooperative attitude of the workers. While a minor constraint to this research would be that time factor given the necessity of study and working on this project. In addition, the cost of printing questionnaire and other production material during the present inflationary trend in the economy is another constraint to this study. Nonetheless, the entire research work will be completed within the mentioned constraints by the special grace of God.

1.8 Definition Of Terms / Relevant Concept

Generally the terms “Conflicts” “Disputes”, “Grievances, “Complaints”, “Strikes” and “Lockout” are widely used to described the various actions or relationships and exist among the various parties in an organisation. Though these terms are sometimes used interchangeably to mean the same thing there exist subtle lines of distinction in some of the terminologies.

The above however does not underscore the elements of commonalities in the various terminologies, as they are all forms of manifestation of disagreement.

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