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1.1 Background to the Study

Collective Bargaining has come to be recognized as one of the major column of industrial relations especial in the process of industrial democracy. It plays a vital part in creating and sustaining industrial peace through early recognition of emergent areas of conflict and taking steps to remove them through dialogue and accord. But the machinery of collective bargaining is often maltreat through non-adherence to the basic principles that guide the practice of collective bargaining.

Nigeria has recently witnessed a huge increase in the number of industrial actions. No day passes in Nigeria without strikes or threats of strikes in one form or another. What was once thought to be a „British disease‟ seems to have become a Nigerian disease. In fact, strikes have become so endemic in Nigeria that even our courts would be prepared to take judicial notice of them. This development, however, is not very healthy. In the first place, it destroys the desired growth and development in the economy and secondly, Nigeria’s desire to encourage foreign investment will be hindered as no serious foreign investor will be willing to put down investments in a country bedevilled by bitter industrial disputes and strikes over wages and conditions of service (Blain, 2007). The implication of withdrawal of foreign investments may appear as another indication of a nose-diving economy. There is a firm international consensus that the right to freedom of association enable the workers to aggregate, join and form trade unions for the protection of their economic and other interests.

Under Nigerian Labour Law, the most important step in the collective bargaining procedure is for the employer or the employers‟ association to recognise the trade union as a bargaining agent for the employees within the bargaining unit, in relation to terms and conditions of employment. Section 24 of the Trade Unions Act provides that for the purposes of collective bargaining all registered Unions in the employment of an employer shall constitute an electoral college to elect members who will represent them in negotiations with the employer. Similarly, for the purpose of representation at Tripartite Bodies or any other body the registered Federations of Trade Unions shall constitute an electoral college taking into account the size of each registered Federation, for the purpose of electing members who will represent them. Where a trade union is recognised, the next step is for a recognition agreement to be drawn up to determine how the negotiations will be conducted, the composition of the machinery and other procedural matters (Adebo,2000). Once a trade union has been recognised and a recognition agreement is drawn up between the parties bargaining can then proceed as provided by the law. In this regard, the Wages Board and Industrial Councils Act 1990 provides for three bargaining fora in Nigeria. The three fora have appropriate wages and conditions of service as their main objective. Bargaining can be effected by Industrial Wages Boards, National Wages Board and Area Minimum Wages Committees or by Joint Industrial Councils. From the foregoing, the principal purpose of collective bargaining is to settle and determine terms and conditions of employment. Improvements in the terms and conditions of workers employment is the chief task of trade unions and collective bargaining is the major means whereby trade unions can ensure that the terms and conditions of employment given to their members are adequate. It is because of the apparent imbalance of power between the employees and employer that has necessitated the desire of workers to come together. Workers appreciate that bargaining will give them near equal relationship with their employer. They realise that against the power of employers, the individual worker has almost no bargaining power and the chances of improving conditions of work is slim. Workers can best strengthen their negotiating position by uniting and bargaining collectively with employers. Workers have resorted to collective action because by banding together, they are able to consolidate their strength far more effectively than they could as individuals. However, despite the benefit of collective bargaining, industrial conflict has continued to pervade the work environment in Nigeria, making many to question the efficacy of collective bargaining as an instrument for ensuring industrial peace. In the tertiary institution, for instance, collective bargaining has not enthrone the culture of industrial peace. In short, tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been known to embark on frequent industrial action. From the university level to the polytechnic and colleges of Education in Nigeria, industrial action have become a re-occurrence means to settling industrial dispute. In 2013, the university went on a six month long strike action to press home their demand claimed to have achieved through the principle of collective bargaining, the polytechnic also went on a ten month strike action to press home their demand while the colleges of education after four months of industrial action decided to call it off. Evidently, this trends in industrial relations calls into questioning the efficacy of the principle of collective bargaining in Nigeria. It is against this backdrop that this study will examine collective bargaining and industrial peace in higher institutions in Anambra state, using the Federal Polytechnic Oko as a case study.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The experience of Nigeria in employment relations reveals a clear reluctance by successive government to adhere to the principle of collective bargaining. One major feature of government labour policies, is the absolute power given to the government to either restructure or merge and even sometimes proscribe the trade unions in the country. Akanji (2006) reports that the state has employed a wide range of actions in regulating employment relations, some were coercive, while some were through various legislations. He posits that the history of state intervention has been characterized by various strategies that has usually undermined efforts at collective bargaining and agreement. Consequently, the government has seriously infringed on the rights of the average Nigerian worker. Adebo (2000) noted that the machineries for collective bargaining in Nigeria is inundated by many problems. The implementation of agreements on wages reached through the machinery of collective bargaining has often been chaotic, attended by controversy, agitations and wide spread strikes that cost the country enormous resources. This crisis has been further undermine by weak legal remedy for addressing defaults to collective agreement in Nigeria. Moreso, collective bargaining has often been undermine by corrupt tendencies and infighting among labour union leaders in Nigeria. It is on record that many labour union leaders connive with the government to sabotage or compromise the collective interest of the workers for their personal interest. Many labour leaders have been co-opted into politics by many state government. This means that the individual political interest of labour leaders often undermine the principle of collective bargaining as an instrument for maintaining industrial peace.

The reality however in Nigeria is such that the principle of collective bargaining is hardly followed nor implemented in trade negotiations. Fashoyin (2008) noted that the role of the government in the Nigerian industrial relations system and the functioning of the labour – management relationship can be better understood within the framework of its position as the simple largest employer which matches its power and control in industrial relations. In Nigeria, collective bargaining hardly comes to play as the government depended upon the philosophy of the doctrine of “sovereignty” that is, the absolute authority to the determinant of wages and other conditions of services, especially in the public sector. This situation according to Aiyede (2008), has resulted in a recurring battle between the various levels of Nigerian government on the one hand, and between these government and organized labour on the other, over the determination of wages and other conditions of services. Although this conflict became egregious with the adoption of decentralized bargaining by the national government in 1991, it reflects a critical industrial relations problems. It is against this backdrop that this study will examine collective bargaining and industrial peace in higher institutions, using Ozoro polytechnic as a case study.

1.3       Research Questions

In order to fulfill the research objectives, the following research questions were posed and would be addressed.

  1. To what extent has collective bargaining engendered peace in Federal Polytechnic Oko?
  2. To what extent does the leadership tussle among labour leaders on the effectiveness of collective bargaining in Federal Polytechnic Oko affect the institution?

iii. To what extent does political interest of labour leaders affects the efficacy of collective bargaining as an instrument of industrial peace in Federal Polytechnic Oko?

  1. What are the effects of weak legal framework for enforcing collective agreement on industrial peace in Federal Polytechnic Oko?

1.4       Purpose of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine collective bargaining and industrial In Tertiary Institutions in Anambra State, using Federal Polytechnic Oko, 2014 – 2019. The specific objective however includes:

  1. To examine if collective bargaining engendered peaceful co-existence between labour and management in Federal Polytechnic Oko.
  2. To examine the effect of leadership tussle among labour leaders on the effectiveness of collective bargaining ibn Federal Polytechnic Oko.

iii. To examine whether political interest of labour leaders affects the efficacy of collective bargaining as an instrument of industrial peace in Federal Polytechnic Oko.

  1. To examine the effect of weak legal framework for enforcing collective agreement on industrial peace in Federal Polytechnic Oko.


  • Significance of the Study

This research work is of great relevance to the society at large. This is applicable to the government, the readers of this research work and to the researcher.

The benefit of this research work to the government is that by the end of the research, the weak-points and short – comings of all the sectors of the nation would be pinpointed and displayed based on findings, thereby proffering solution to the problem.

To the reader, they will be upgraded intellectually and also will be highly informed of the up and doings of the current administration.

The study will be relevant to the government and policy makers, because through the recommendations at the end of the study, the government will be able to understand those necessary incentives that have the capacity of improving the productivity of its employee.

The significance of the study shall also extend to the general public who will then understand how best it will help organizations. And even to the students who may be given work of this nature in future.

Above all, the study will contribute to the existing knowledge or literature and serve as a foundation upon which other studies will be made regarding staff welfare policies and employee productivity.


1.6       Scope of the Study

The essence of this research work is to study  Collective Bargaining And Industrial Peace In Tertiary Institutions In Anambra State: The research intends to focus on Federal Polytechnic Oko. 2015 – 2019.


1.7       Limitations of the Study

A topic of this nature is bound to produce one type of the limitation or the other. The following limitations were inherent in the study.

  1. Time: This was a major constraint on the researcher during the period of the work considering the limited time given for the study, these was no much time to give this research the needed attention.
  2. Finance: Owing to the financial difficulty prevalent in the country and its resultant prices of commodities, transportation fares, research material etc. The research did not find it easy meeting all this financial obligation.
  3. Information Constraints: Obtaining the necessary information relevant to the area of the study was not easy for the researcher.

Although these problems placed limitation on the study, but it detailed and comprehensive research work on the subject matter.


1.8       Definition of Terms

  • Workplace: Is a location where someone works for his or her employer, a place of employment. Such a place can range term a home office to a large office building or factory for industrialized societies, the workplace is one of the most important social spaces other than the home, consulting a central concept for several entitles, the workers and his or her family, the employing organization. The customers of the organization, and the society as a whole. The development of new communication technologies have led to the development of the virtual workplace, a workplace that is not located in any one physical space.
  • Labour: The work done by a group of workers or by a particular worker is referred to as that which is labour. Every worker or employee should receive a fair price for the product of his/her labour and the unemployed cannot withdraw their labour, they have no power on it.
  • Policy Makers: Individuals usually members of the board of directors who have the authority to set the policy framework of an organization and also a member of a government department legislature or other organization who is responsible for making new rules and laws for the employee
  • Employee Welfare: Entails  everything from services, facilities and benefits that are provided or done by an employer for the advantage or comfort of an employee. It is undertaken in order to motivate employees and raise the productivity levels.
  • Staff Association; A group of employees that provides support and advice for people working within the same organization, especially in any official discussion with management relating to their responsibilities and pay.
  • Collective Bargaining: This is the process of arriving or attempting to arrive at a collective agreement.
  • Unions Representatives: Unions officials ( Executives) duly elected to run the affairs of the union.
  • Collective Agreement: An agreement reached at the end of collective bargaining show the consensus of both management and union.
  • Industrial Relation: This is the relationship between the employers or management and employees, as individuals or as a group; between supervisor and the worker (s) and between worker and his trade union.
  • Industrial Peace: Cordial Relationship between union and management.
  • Collective Bargaining: This is the process of arriving or attempting to arrive at a collective agreement.
  • Unions Representatives: Unions officials ( Executives) duly elected to run the affairs of the union.
  • Collective Agreement: An agreement reached at the end of collective bargaining show the consensus of both management and union.
  • Players: Management, union and Government.
  • Industrial Peace: Cordial Relationship between union and management.
  • Efficiency; This refers to an input-output relationship that is achieving maximum productivity with minimum input of energy or resources.
  • Conflict: Disagreement or clash about the allocation of scarce resources, goals, values etc.
  • Industrial Unions: Unions within organization e.g PENGASSAN Within the oil industry.
  • Antipathy: Strong and decided dislike.
  • Work Group: Two or more people who interact within and influence each other towards a common purpose.
  • Segment System: A system segmented along product market or geographical lines.
  • Leadership: The process of directing and influencing the task related activities of group members.
  • Welfare service; It refers to items in the total package offered to employee over and above salary, which increase their wealth or well-being at some cost to the employer.
  • Organization; This is a combination of people or individual efforts making together in pursuit of certain common purposes.



1.9    Organization of the Study

This study is mapped out in five chapters which chapter one is the introduction, the background to the study, statement of the problems research question, purpose of the study, the significant of the study, scope of the study, definition of the terms and organization of the study. Chapter two deals on literature review and theoretical framework. Chapter three is research design, area of the study, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques, method of data collection , instrument for data collection, reliability and validity of the instrument, distribution and retrieval of instrument and method of data analysis. Chapter four is data presentation and analysis. Chapter five deals with summary, conclusion and recommendation.


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