The Role Of Collective Bargaining In Improving Industrial Harmony In The Public Sector

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The Role Of Collective Bargaining In Improving Industrial Harmony In The Public Sector


The main objective of collection bargaining is essential to described negotiation about working conditions and terms of employment between an employer organization on the hand and the representative of worker organization of the other hand, with a view of reaching agreement. The present state of a depressed economy in which Nigeria has found itself demands for employer and employees to examine how to improve industrial harmony, in both private and public organizations. The focus of this research however, is an approval of collective bargaining in improving industrial harmony. The intention of this study is to uncover the attitudes of employers towards their employees in improving industrial objectives three hypotheses were formulated, which were later subjected to tests and from which conclusions were drawn. Chapter two deals with those relevant literatures, Books, Magazines, Journal, etc and personal interview and discussion on the topic, such discussion and literatures revealed. Chapter three dwells on the research Study. The research designed how and where relevant data needed were collected. The population and samples size, the questionnaire administered and the response cross checked for meonsistancies Chapter four, the response contained in the questionnaire were anglicized further more the hypotheses developed were subjected to statistical test through the use of chi-square method due to the large number o the population. The result of these analyze and test lead to the accepting of the first hypotheses that says collective bargaining has on immeasurable impact on improving industrial harmony. Chapter five, continuous summary conclusion and recommendations

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

In every industrial organization there are three main industrial relations, actors, such as Employer, Employee and the state. The interaction of those actors could produce both agreement and disagreement or conflict. This is primarily because each actor has partly congruent and partly divergent interest.

However, an appraisal of collective bargaining is a term coined in 1897 by Sydney and Beatrice Webb to describe negotiation about working conditions and terms of employment between an employer, a group of employers, one or more employer’s organization, on the one hand, and one or more representative of workers organization on the other, with a view reaching agreement.

In essence, collective barging corner all arrangement in which employees do not negotiate individually but do so collectively through representatives.

There are two key words that are not worthy in the appraisal of collective bargaining, these are NEGOTIATION AND AGREEMENT. It takes the two processes for collective bargaining to be perfect. Any negotiation that does not result into agreement is unequivocally incomplete bargaining.

Collective bargaining does not stop at the stage of agreement which inevitably must be jointly signed by both parties-workers and employers. The process is said to be collective because it displaces the individual workers feeble attempt to affect better changes in conditions of employment and replaces it with cumulative and pooled experience of many workers thrashed out through their union co-ordinate into a simple programme and backed by their collective strength again, the process as bargaining because there is a constant process of give and take experience, view and positions.

One aims of business organizational include making profit in order to survive and expand. Achieving organizational goals. Therefore requires dedicated workers, good equipment and a peaceful work environment. The most important of these is the human input because the human element is the central are laid down steps in both the internal and external (statutory) grievance and dispute procedure. The procedure is seen as an orderly way of resolving and regulating conflict interest on dispute.

The grievance and dispute procedure in the manufacturing industry like any other is so fundamental to workers and their unions, employers and the government alike, that it cannot be looked.

1.2 Statement of Problem

It has been noted that lack of commitment to modern managements. Techniques and philosophies like collective bargaining has led to inability to manager the human factors in an organization industrial conflict could result in psychological, and socio-economic strains, which lead to abnormal concentration, bad temper and transference at work (Okediran, 1997, Bankole 2000).

The common form of industrial conflict are largely arising from collections of service and terms of employment, industrial conflict manifests in a number of ways including, Absenteeism disenchantment, showing down of work process, sabotage, pilfering, restriction of output, frequent sick leaves, distrust, protests high labour turnover, early retirement and strive. (Otobe 1998).

On the part of employers, industrial conflict includes arbitrary discipline, discrimination, arbitrary transfer, victimization, blacklisting, plant closure or re-organization, retrenchment and lockout among others. In the face of the acute forms of industrial conflict, workers at all levels of wage, employment have devised varying survival strategies fraud, showing down of work, conversion of official properties etc which are injuries to their organizations and the economy as a while. Thus, workers develop negative behavior in reaction to unfavourable situation.

Over the years, Government hostility to collective bargaining has made industrial organizations in Nigeria to stagnate. It is instructive to note that some workers are living in state of acute deprivation due to abysmally how wages and poor reward system. The standard of living of an average worker has fallen to an unprecedented level. This pitiable living condition could give rise to industrial conflict because a hungry worker may become an angry work with further demonstration and disillusionment.

However, every worker could have an aggressive determination to succeed at all cost but conflict is inherent in capitalism and a bottle line is drawn between the workers and the capitalists. Each party wants what the other party does not want to give.

There is this conflict of interest which is not always resolved in most Nigerian organization. Arising from the inevitable conflict include stagnation of work, lack of industrial harmony, lack of equitable motivation and hostile socio-economic environment.

The overall implication of a myriad of unresolved industrial conflict is Nigeria is that the serious decline. In order words work organizations are folding up and workers are being laid off in large numbers. It is apparently clear that the Nigeria economy is characterized by job security, the factor of the Nigeria labour congress how comes into focus. The NLC has embarked on strike on several occasions with varying implication for socio-economic development in the country. Each time the NLC embarks on strike the Nigeria economy is always in a state of comatose. Thus industrial conflict of not well manage could create hydra-headed problem, which could make sustainable socio-economic development cohesive.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of industrial conflicts between Labour Union and Lagos state government?
  2. How effective is collective bargaining as a strategy in improving industrial harmony in Lagos state?
  3. Do government and Labour Union delay in compliance to collective agreement reached in Lagos state?

1.4 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to assess the role of collective bargaining in improving industrial harmony in Ikorodu L.G.A. Lagos state.

However, the intermediate objectives of the study include the following:

  1. To find out the causes of industrial conflicts between Labour Union and Lagos state government.
  2. To determine how effective collective bargaining as a strategy is in improving industrial harmony in Lagos state.
  3. To find out whether the delay in compliance to collective agreement reached contribute significantly to industrial conflicts in Lagos state.

1.5 Statement of Hypotheses

H0: Collective bargaining is not the most effective strategy in improving industrial harmony in Lagos state.

H1: Collective bargaining is the most effective strategy in improving industrial harmony in Lagos state.

1.6 Significance of Study

The significance of this study rests on its potential benefit to employees, employers and the state that are mostly concerned with how to ensure industrial peace and harmony. Industrial conflict could lead to situation which are damaging to the economy due to irregulated hours of work, absence of worker etc.

Therefore, understanding the peculiar features will definitely help the actors of the industrial relation system to adjust and change their present situation of working conditions in Nigerian enterprises. An evaluation of the effects of industrial conflict will place employees, employers and policy planners in a better position to devise appropriate ways of redeeming only perceive negative consequences of the work environment.

The finding of his study will hopefully demonstrate the socio-economic implications of industrial conflict as it relates to economic growth and development, this could make government embark on new programmes or implement existing policies in order to ensure an optimum labour productivity in the country. Thus, this study will shed light on the current state of knowledge about industrial conflict.

Apart from contributing fresh ideas to the growing body of knowledge in industrial relations police. This study would guide other researcher and interested readers in relations to the subject matter of this research. This implies that upon completion this research project would become a good source of Secondary data. Therefore the need for this study cannot be over-emphasized.

1.7 Scope and Limitation

A study on collective bargaining is expected to cover the entire Lagos state but this study is limited to Ikorodu Local Government due to time and financial constraints. The major thrust of this study is also limited to relevant issues of industrial harmony. The researcher is interested in looking at the collective bargaining, industrial relations, industrial dispute, trade union structure, grievance etc. with particular emphasis being on the study area

1.8 Definition Of Terms

The operational definition of some concepts related to this study is presented as follows:

1. Collective Agreement

This is an agreement, in writing concerning working conditions and terms of employment relationship between an organization of workers o their representatives (e.g. trade union) on the one hand, and on organization of employers or their association (e.g. NECA) on the other hand.

Hence, collective agreement is the force the logical and product of collective bargaining.

2. Collective Bargaining:

This is the process of negotiating wages and other working conditions collectively between employers and trade union, it enables the conditions of service of employees to b& agreed as a whole group rather than individually.

3. Dispute:

This is the disagreement between workers and employers on issues relating to wages, salaries, fringe benefits and general employment conditions and also as a result of failure to adhere to the collective agreement.

4. Grievance:

These are complaints made by employers about wages, conditions of employment, or the actions or management and often times, most organizations have a special procedure or machines for handing grievances.

5. Industrial Relations:

This has to do with relationship between employer and employee as spelt out in the contract of employment and related government legislation as the struggle for harmony among the different interest groups with the work situation.

6. Industrial Harmony:

This is the settlement of disputes or conflicts existing between workers and their organization and their management on the other hand.

7. Strike:

This is a weapon employed by workers to stay out of work for the expression of dissatisfaction in the executive of terms and. condition of employment by the employers. The role of the strike as a means of consuming favourable employment condition as a result of unilateral action by the government in the public sector.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

An attempt has been made in this study through a case study research to assess how collective bargaining can be employed as a strategy for industrial harmony relations at the workplace generally. A critical look at the respondents’ views has demonstrated that collective bargaining has gained prominent degree of recognition as an effective approach to conflict resolution and industrial harmony not only in the literature but also in practice. This agrees with Ubeku (1985) and Fashoyin (1992) findings that strike is destructive both to the employers, employees and the society at large, leading to decrease in productivity, loss of contract year, loss of profit resulting from loss of revenue, net earnings and idle equipment.

As such, every school could employ collective bargaining in managing industrial conflict as it create room for divergent interest of the actors to be put forward for discussion in a round table conference with the aim of integrating them or coming out with lasting solution to the conflict(s).

Also, this study revealed that the breach of collective agreement contributes significantly to industrial conflict in Lagos state. This was because the majority of the respondents in the six (6) variables confirmed to this assertion.

5.2 Recommendations

It is in the light of above findings that this research study strongly recommends the following for implementation.

The government, business organizations, employers of labour, employees, non- profit organizations and all stakeholders in industrial relations should endeavour to embrace collective bargaining, consultation with union representatives and negotiation between employers and employees as the machinery to manage industrial conflicts in their effort to promote industrial harmony, enhance employees performance, increase productivity and improve the living standard of the generality of the people.

The government and employers of labour should always avoid delay in compliance to collective agreement reached with the union representatives.

The government of Lagos state should ensure that they adequately consult their teachers on any issues that affect them and also to try as much as possible to improve the welfare their employees by given them their entitlement as at when due.

The government in order to maintain industrial harmony should ensure that they implement collective agreement reached to the latter.

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