Managing Industrial Disputes In Higher Institutions (A Case Study Of Enugu State University Of Science And Technology (ESUT) Enugu)

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Managing Industrial Disputes In Higher Institutions (A Case Study Of Enugu State University Of Science And Technology (ESUT) Enugu)


This project is an attempt to examine the study of managing industrial disputes in higher institution with particular reference to Enugu state university of science and technology (ESUT) Enugu. And to suggest ways by which the management of higher institutions in Enugu State will follow to manage the disputes efficiently and effectively.

  • Chapter one consists of the general introduction of the research topic statement of the problems objectives of the research topic scope of the study significance of the study statement of the hypothesis to be tested or research questions and definition of terms.
  • Chapter two is the review of related and relevant literature and is treated under such topic as meaning of industrial dispute meaning of industrial relation types of dispute effect of industrial disputes in institutions of higher learning procedures for settling disputes and factors responsible for industrial disputes in higher institutions.
  • Chapter three deals with research methodology it is treated under the following topic sources of data collection for the study research population sample and sampling techniques used instrument and method of data collection.
  • Chapter four states the analysis presentation and interpretation of data collected through the percentage analysis and test of hypothesis.
  • Finally chapter five is interpretation of results summary of findings recommendation conclusion and limitation of the study.

Table of Contents

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of study
  • 1.2 Statements of Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms
  • References

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Meaning of Industrial Dispute
  • 2.2 Meaning of Industrial Relation
  • 2.3 Types of Disputes
  • 2.4 Effect of Industrial Disputes Institution of Higher Learning
  • 2.5 Procedure for Settling Disputes
  • 2.6 Factors Responsible for Industrial Disputed
  • Reference

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Sources of Data
  • 3.2 Research Population
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument
  • 3.5 Validity of Research
  • 3.6 Reliability of Research
  • 3.7 Method Of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Method of Data Analysis
  • Reference

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation & Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis
  • Reference

Chapter Five

5.0 Interpretation of Result Finding Recommendation and conclusion

  • 5.1 Interpretation of Results
  • 5.2 Summary of Finding
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • 5.4 Conclusions
  • 5.5 Limitation of the Study
  • Reference
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

In the formation of the nation industrial policy the federal government was influenced by the country’s social and economic conditions and the standard set by the international labour organization (ILO) and Nigeria is a member. In Nigeria trade union service and industrial relations department under the federal ministry of labour and productivity are primary responsible for the promotion and maintenance of industrial peace and harmony in all the trade disputes which (ie. Employers and employee or union members) have failed to settle through internal machinery designed to reach amicable settlement of disputes.

Despite the existence of these two departments industrial crises involving a total number of 1,327 trade disputes were handled with the past seven-year resulting in 813 strikes and lockout. Only 821 of the disputes were settle through intervention and conciliation out of 1,327 while 307 were referred to industrial Arbitration panel (IAP) and national industrial court settled 205 of such disputes. With these industrial relation could be defined as the network social relationship between the employees and their employers and their associations and government and their numerous agencies in their attempts to replete terms and condition of employment and perform other functions that directly or indirectly concern the initiation and sustenance of peaceful and purposeful labour management relations which involve applying machinery dealing with complaints grievance and disputes in an organization.

Arnistrony E (1980) sees industrial relations as the inter-twining activities of the workers management and government for better working conditions Meanwhile the upsurge in strike and industrial tension could be blamed on the suspicious issue between employers and workers as well as intra-union crisis. In a bid to maximize their standard of living which often eroded by inflation working demand higher pay and better working condition of service while employer resist such requests because they fear it might reduce their profits. This refusal may result to strike or industrial conflict.

In the public sector government resisted it because of unavailability of funds and the likely economic consequences The causes of these inter or intra union disputes may be traced to communication gap between the official and member alleged misappropriation of funds or embezzlement of union funds arbitrary dismissal of national officers by the union refusal to call national delegates conference as and when due.

In recent years trade disputes especially those of intra and inert union cases have resulted in litigations in the law court. Some disputes had led to the institutions of more than 30 court cases involving different trade union. It has become the order of the day among trade union leaders to take the intra and inter union disputes to civil courts rather than use settlement machinery provided fro them under the trade disputes act of 1976 (Amendment decree)

The Nigeria labour compress (NLC) is the umbrella organizations for all the trade union in the country was created by the trade union decree of 1978 by which the government organized the country’s labour force into 42 trade union. The decree set out how the law will be how to appoint the officers who is qualified for membership and requirement that each union much file an annual statement of account with the registrar of trade unions in the federal ministry of labour and productivity. The industrial relations decree of 1976 sets out the details of low disputes between the employer and employees union are to be settled. Employers and employees union are required to attempt internal settlement through joint consultation and collective bargaining. Where this fails there is provision for the declaration of formal trade dispute and for the matter declaration of refereed to the ministry of labour and productivity? Or where the internal mechanism of conflict resolution fails the external mechanisms of conflict resolution will start. Mediation is the first panel. The trade. Dispute act makes it mandatory for employers and unions to meet within seven (7) days after the dispute must have been declared either by themselves or their representatives under the chairmanship of a mediator mutually agreed upon and appointed by one or both of the parties with a view to an amicable settlement of the dispute. The mediator must be seen to be impartial by the parties and not to impose his decision on any of the parties.

Where the mediator fails the parties will report productivity (FMELP) within fourteen (14) days. The ministry will appoint a conciliator for the purpose of solving the conflict. The conciliator shall inquire into the cause and the circumstance of the dispute. If settlement is reached within 14 days he shall forward a memoradun of the terms of the settlement duly signed by the parties involved to the minister but if he fails he will within another 14 days refer the case to arbitration.

The industrial Arbitration panel (IAP) marks the beginning of the judicial processes for resolving disputes. The dispute much to refereed to them within 62days after it started IAP was created in 1969 and it settles disputes that cannot be handled through mediation and conciliation the IAP are given 42 days to settle he dispute. They should refer it to national industrial court (NIC) if there is no improvement. NIC are given 22 days to refer it to the ministers if there is no settlement.

Section 23 of trade dispute act empower the minister of labour to set up a board of injuring and investigation to injure and investigate disputes and employment problems.

Meanwhile trade disputes decree No 7 of 1976 requires parties to a dispute to make use of collective bargaining machinery existing in the organization in he first instance.

In the past ten years the history of industrial relations in our institution of higher learning is marked by incessant industrial actions. The first was in July 1988 when academic staff union of Nigeria universities (ASUU) embarked on a strike action against their employers the national universities commission/ federal ministry of education and their individual universities.

In Enugu State higher institutions of learning have experience as many periods of industrial unread. Trade disputes are often declared by the trade union in these institutions. The main ones are the academic staff union of universities (ASUU) senior staff association of universities etc. Trade disputes are declared against the institution authorities some of the dispute have been successfully resolved through internal negotiations, while others have been resolved through mediation and conciliation by a third party in an amicable procedures

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Management of industrial disputes in higher institution have not been task. Sometimes the stipulation of the trade disputes decree of 1976 on the procedure have been grouted through the arbitrary use of power by government in forcefully resolving the dispute. This usually keep the lid over the dispute first for a while. Very often negotiations have broken down because of inability of the parties at the dispute to make concessions to each others demand thereby reaching the compromise some other earlier been suspended resumes because of the inability of the institution’s authority to meet with the term of settlement earlier reached.

In the same industrial action had arise not because of disparagement between the institution’s authority and the trade union members but was a sympathy action in support of members in another institution who are embarking on industrial action against the authority. In the case it become difficult to call back the striking members to work through first consultants in the institution solidarity and sympathy strikes are difficult to resolve because the legal procedures of mediation and conciliation have always prove abortive. It is often resolved when the real actions in dispute resolve the issues at dispute.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The objective of this study among other thing includes:

  1. To examine the nature of trade dispute in institution of higher learning in Enugu State.
  2. To examine the problems of industrial dispute management in these institutions.
  3. To examine the procedures usually adopted by the parties in he settlement of these disputes.
  4. To examine the factors responsible for trade disputes in the higher institution
  5. To check if the procedures are conformity with the stipulation of the trade decree act of 1976 in resolution trade disputes.
  6. To suggest ways of improving the management of industrial disputes in these institution.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the nature of trade dispute or industrial conflicts in higher institution in Enugu State
  2. What factors are responsible for industrial conflict in the institutions
  3. What are the procedure usually adopted by the parties in conflict in resolving this conflict
  4. These procedures are they in conformity with those stipulate in trade dispute decree of 1976 on how to resolve industrial conflict.
  5. How effective have the settlement machinery been in managing these industrial dispute
  6. What are the problems of industrial dispute
  7. Through what ways can the disputes management system to improved

1.5 Significance of the Study

The research is very important in many respects. First will explain the nature of industrial dispute in institution of higher learning it will also highlight the various factors that often lead to such industrial conflict why there has always been break- down in negotiations and industrial conflict management continue to be difficult. The research findings will be useful to the institution authority because it will help them take decision that will forestall the emergences of a situation that will create industrial conflict. Also it will help them to know how to approve industrial conflict with a view to settle them amicably. This finding will make contributions towards successful resolution of industrial conflict. The finding will also useful to the union representative in that it will highlight why industrial conflict of the occur or persist because of their wrong approach to settlements.

Furthermore it will make employers union representatives and employees union understand the importance of industrial peace as in the development of health industrial relations and rational development.

Finally it will be useful to any student who will carry out a related study in the future as the information provided will be helpful

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study covers Enugu State and will be based on some selected tertiary institution within the area. It specifically appraisal the causes and effect of industrial conflict

1.7 Definition of Terms

1. Conciliator:

Person appointed by the honourable ministry of labour to settle the industrial disputes if a mediator fails

2. Conciliation:

The process of settlement under the auspices of a conciliators

3. Industrial Dispute:

A situation of disharmony in industrial relations between employers and employees

4. Industrial Relation:

Relationship between employers and employees

5. Industrial Arbitration Panel:

A body established to settle industrial dispute and to give a binding decision on both parties.

6. National Industrial Cover:

An adjudicating institution established to examine the ruling of the (IAP) and to give the final decision.

7. Nigeria Labour Congress:

The umbrella organization for all the trade union in the country

8. Mediator:

The first person usually agreed upon by the parties in dispute to settle the conflict

9. Mediation:

The process of settlement using a mediator.

Chapter Five

5.0 Interpretation of Result Findings Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Interpretation of Result

To be able to come up with clear answer to the research questions rained in chapter one the results as contained in chapter four are interpreted below.

Research Question 1
What is the nature of trade dispute or industrial conflicts in institutions of higher learning in Enugu State?

Table 7 in chapter four addressed this question it can be seen all the respondents have a consensus that trade disputes lock out lock in strike work to rule and sit strike are all from of industrial conflicts in tertiary institutions in Enugu State. 300 respondents that represent the 100 percent at test to this

Research Question 2
What factors are responsible for trade dispute in tertiary institutions?

Table 8.9 10 and 11 addressed to this research question. Table 8 shows that 8.3.6 percent of the respondents agreed that incessant demand by lectures and other workers for improved working conditions leads to industrial disputes in the tertiary institution. Table 9 shows that government refusal to meet the demand of workers D also a factor for causing industrial dispute which 100% supported.

Again breach of settlement was also expressed as one of the cause of dispute as shown in table 10 which 85.0 respondents relieved. It was also expressed that the implements of unfavorable policies by the government could cause industrial dispute infact 84 percents of respondents expressed this.

Question 3
What are the procedure usually adopted by the parties in resolving disputes?

Table 12 in chapter four addressed this question form the table it can be seen that first consultation between all parties unilateral action by government or governing council appointment of mediator as well as appointment conciliator are all possible procedure or measure adopted in resolving disputes.

Research Question 4
Are these procedure in conformity with the stipulations in the trade dispute decree of 1979?

Table 14 addresses this question. The summary of the result there shows that such procedure are indeed in conformity with the trade dispute decree as expressed by 61.3% of the respondent while 38.7% disagreed the issue

Research Question 5
How effective have the settlement machinery been in managing these industrial dispute?

The summary of the result in table 15 in chapter four shows that industrial dispute in tertiary institutions in Enugu State have been effectively managed. While for instance 56 percents of the respondents expressed this, 44 percent expressed the contrary.

Resaerch Question 6
What are the problems of industrial dispute management in tertiary institution in Enugu State?

The summary of result in chapter four shows that there are indeed problems that militate against industrial dispute management in tertiary institution in Enugu State such factors include.

  • The attitude of the constituted authorities
  • The attitude of the government
  • The attitude of leaders of trade union
  • Inter-union dispute
  • Intra- union dispute
Research Question 7
Through what ways can he disputes management be improved?

The summary of the result in chapter four show that such can be achieve through

  • The adoption of democratic principles in the settlement of conflict
  • Provision of training to union leader so that they can understand the dynamics of trade unionism
  • The government should always ensure the implementation of terms of settlement.
  • Improved relationship between the employers and the employees.

5.2 Summary of Findings

After analyzing the data collected through primary and secondary data the following finding were made.

  1. Industrial dispute in the institutions of higher learning in Enugu State occur in the forms of lock-out lock- in strike and work to rule all these types of industrial actions exist in the institutions.
  2. A lot of factors are responsible for incessant industrial actions in the institution of higher learning. Among these are incessant demand by workers for improved welfare scheme, government refusal to meet the demand of the staff and workers for improving working conditions breach of terms of settlement of dispute by the government and implementation of policies by the government against the interest of academic and non-academic staff.
  3. Industrial dispute are resolved through the following
    1. Collective bargaining that is joint consultation between the parties in dispute
    2. Unilateral action or decision by the government
    3. Appointment of a mediator
    4. Appointment of a conciliator
  4. None of the industrial dispute that arose in the institutions has been resolved through intercession of industrial arbitration panel (IAP) or national industrial court (NIC) Rather the resolution has been made through joint consultation between the parties in dispute. This usually conforms with the measure stipulates in the trade dispute decree of 1976 ( Amendment decree)
  5. On many occasion management of industrial dispute in these institution has effective because both parties adhere to the terms of settlement other times government use the period of long strike to resolve the dispute.
  6. Industrial dispute management in these institutions faces the following problems
    1. The attitude of the institutions authorities
    2. The attitude of the government
    3. The attitude of the union leaders
    4. Inter-union dispute
    5. Intra- union dispute
  7. Industrial dispute have some adverse effect in the university community these include decline in productivity of all staff deterioration of relationship between staff and government increase in dispute between the parties in dispute and inter/intra union quarrels and others. But if the industrial action is successful it brings about improvement in the welfare of the staff and workers.
  8. Industrial relations in the higher institutions does not reflect democratic principle and practices. The rules and regulation as stipulated in the trade union decree are often floused. Government intervention in union matters and its approach to industrial dispute is most undemocratic.

5.2 Recommendation

The following are being suggested on the management of inductile dispute in the institution of higher learning.

  1. The institutions authorities the government and the union leader should use collective bargaining as the only instrument for resolving industrial conflict in the institutions. The government in each cases should renounce forces as the means of dealing effective with industrial disputes.
  2. The union leaders should be adequately trained in industrial relations. This will ensure that only intelligent leaders who are well trained in industrial maters are elected. The attitude of such leaders should neglect accommodation and compromised in resolving industrial conflicts.
  3. The government should also provide adequate funds for efficient administration of these institutions. This will make the authorities able to provide adequate remunerations compensation and welfare scheme for the staff. This will always ensure industrial peace in the institutions
  4. The government should not include in intra-union activities. There should be complete freedom and autonomy for the union so that the system should develop on industrial relations that is truly democratic

5.4 Conclusion

Based on the research finding the following conclusion can be drawn

  1. Incessant demand by workers for improved working condition and refusal by the government to meet with their demand often lead to industrial disputes.
  2. Breach of terms of settlement of industrial disputes and government implementation policies against the interest of the staff also leads to industrial dispute
  3. Most of the industrial disputes in the institutions are settled through collective bargaining and in some extreme case by unaltered action of the government.
  4. However the procedure in resolving the dispute do not always conform with the stipulation of the trade union (Amendment) decree of 1976.
  5. In most cases management of industrial conflicts in those institutions has been effective
  6. Unilateral action by the government through stance of union members inter/intra union quarrel militate against effective management of industrial disputes in the institutions
  7. Industrial dispute have always had adverse effects on the relationship between the government and union members. It also leads to decline in productivity loss of man-hours and loss of time in completing

5.5 Limitation of the Study

The research encounters some constraints in carrying out this research. First there is inadequate of information and data on industrial dispute in Enugu State tertiary institutions it is a phenomenon, which started in the late 1980, and as such too much studies have not been arrived out of it. The research therefore depended so much on primary sources for data and information used in the study.

Secondly there is problem of inadequate finance to embark on more extensive research thus he limited the scope to management of industrial dispute in Enugu State institutions of higher learning.

Finally, there is time constraint as the researcher was carried out when the school was in session. The demand placed on the researcher by the other academic work severely limit the time available for this study

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