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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Trade disputes (emergency provisions) decree, 1968 defined strike as meaning the cessation of work by a body of persons employed action in combination, or a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding of any number of persons employed to continue to work for an employer in consequence of a dispute, done as a means of compelling their employer to accept or not to accept term of employment and physical conditions of work.
Therefore, strike is one word that is thorn in the flesh of management. Each time the organized labour embarked on any strike, substantial output is lost. For instance, during the first general strike of 1949 and 1993 (Asu strike) when the government disagreed with civil servants on wags and allowance, about 30 working days were lost. Output dropped substantially as a result government had to increase or enhanced their welfare packages in a bid to resolve the crisis.
Notably between 1980, 1982, 1993 and 2000 general strike respectively there was a spate of industrial and disputes and work stoppage in the country resulting in a large loss in man-hours and productivity. This spate of industrial unrest was evidently a result of lack of adequate attention to the human factor in the running of the business organization. This relegation of the human factor to the background by the management has been a serious but a latent cause of increased strike action with its resultant consequences. It is therefore the purpose of this work to probe into this and acquaint the management with tools for combating this hydra-headed monster.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The unstable industrial relation climate in Nigeria, within the last decade has resulted in an all time record of lost working hours, unprecedented spate of disputes and an unmatched number of work stoppages as a result of strike.
In the 1945 general strike action, Nigerian lost 45 working days, similarly, in the first six months of 1982, it was also a total of 4,598,855 man hours because of strike actions embarked upon by the workers.
This represented a 42% increase in the earlier ones during the first half of 1981 one is even more than 100% higher than the 2,244,984 man-hours. Besides these alarming strike occurrences, there are many others in the hundred not officially reported. It is against this background that this research effort is consummated with the definite mission of providing answers to the following questions.
1. Is strike the only effective means of achieving union aims?
2. If strike occurs, what are the procedures for setting them?
3. Are such trade disputes and industrial unrest as a result of unsettled grievance?
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to probe into the effectiveness of strike action as a means of achieving union aims from management. The study is based on a case study of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Delta State.
Specifically, the study is focused on the following issues.
1. To identify the causes of trade disputes
2. To find out the tools for achieving union demand from government
3. To identify the effectiveness of strike action in achieving union aims measured against the regular occurrence of strike actions.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The interest of this study is restricted in finding out how strike action and its effectiveness in achieving union aims.
Therefore, in order to carry out and achieve this study, the following research questions will enable the researcher to arrive at a reliable and valid conclusion.
(1) Can strike action be used in achieving union aims?
(2) Has strike action helped your union in obtaining its demand from management?
(3) Has your union been involved in any strike actions arising out of unsettled grievances?
(4) Is a strike action the only effective means of achieving unions objectives?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
These hypothesis have been put forward tentatively for the purpose of developing evidence for or against the preposition in question. These posited hypotheses suggest the direction in which the facts seem to be appropriate to the problem and organized them into meaningful aggregates so that they can be analyzed and interpreted. Hence the following hypothesis.
Ho: Trade disputes and industrial unrest are not as a result of unsettled grievances.
Hi: Trade disputes and industrial unrest are as a result of unsettled grievances.
Ho: Strike actions are not the only effective means of achieving union objectives.
Hi: Strike actions are the only effective means of achieving union objectives.
Ho: Poor conditions of services do not correlations with strike action.
Hi: Poor conditions of services have correlations with strike action.
1.6 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
This study is intended to help union members of any established organization toward realizing the importance of well organized strike action that will bring about growth on the organization. It will also help government ministries and parastatals towards solving employee grievances and strike action.
Teachers in particular will gain immensely from this work as Nigerian Union of Teachers was used as the case study. It will help them to know their legitimate right as employees and how to institute strike action as a tool of compelling government to implement certain welfare packages that will boost their moral toward work.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is very wide if it has to be carried out in the entire Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) chapter in Nigeria. The study is united, based on the fact that there is no time and material resources to see to the whole nation. This study is limited to (Isoko North chapter, Delta State) and the findings may not reflect to situation in the whole country. These findings may not be valid for the whole chapters in Nigeria, but by and large, what happens in Delta chapter can be said to apply to other chapters.
1.8 LIMITATION TO STUDY
Some of the limitations of this study include time, finance and unavailability of related literature.
TIME: The semester is a short one and there are other academic works to be done by the researcher apart from this research work therefore the research was limited to Isoko North chapter.
FINANCE: Inadequate finance hundred the possibility of a larger sample size which may have helped the work in being more objective and accurate.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
STRIKE ACTION: This is a measure taken by employees to persuade management towards agreeing to their demands.
UNION: Joining or being joined together by a group for the purpose of interchanging interests toward mutual advantage. Associations formed by coming together of persons or groups.
DISPUTE: The object of debate or argument between workers union and the management.
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE: This is a step approach of resolving real or imagines cause for complaint or protest. This can exist in either individual or collective procedure.
SALARY: A fiscal regular payment, usually made every week, monthly or annually to employees doing especially professional or office work.
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