A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND ITS ROLE IN LABOUR RELATIONS IN NIGERIA

A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND ITS ROLE IN LABOUR RELATIONS IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

Just as it is common for conflicts to arise in every human relationship, the relationship between an employer and an employee is not left out in this. The importance of collective bargaining is so enormous in order to bring about amicable settlement of trade disputes. It was discovered in this work that, countries the world over have at one time been faced with the challenges of industrial frictions. An objective of this research work is to educate society and stakeholders on the need for parties in industrial relation to resolve whatever disputes amicably. This is not undermining the rights of employees to embark on strike or other forms of settlements in driving home their grievances. It was recommended that labour laws in Nigeria should be strengthened to enhance the swift and amicable settlement in Trade Disputes.

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1       Introduction

Collective bargaining is an industrial practice made to enhance harmony by mutual

settlement of trade disputes between an employer and workers or their respective unions. The

term collective bargaining is applied to the arrangement under which wages and conditions of

employment are settled by a bargain inform of an agreement made between employers or

associations of employers and workers organizations. The International Labour Organization

Convention1 enjoins members of the organization to take measures appropriate to national

conditions however necessary to encourage and promote the full development and utilization

of machinery for voluntary negotiation between employers and workers with a view to

regulate the terms and condition of employment by means of collective agreements.

The practice of collective bargaining has long been accepted by all side to the

employment relationship. This is mainly because the interest of government employees and

trade unions rest on the process of consultation and discussion which is the foundation of

democracy in industry.

Collective bargaining includes all methods by which groups of workers and relevant

employees come together to attempt to reach an agreement in matters under discussion by a

process of negotiation, such matters are often regarded as constituting a challenge which

generates into a competitive rivalry and usually the method of reaching a decision is

compromise.

These methods or process are considered collective because it replaces the individual

workers feeble attempts to gain improvement for himself and is instead based upon a joint

or collective effort and experience many workers channeled through their union and enhance

1 International Labour Conventions and Recommendations 1919-1991, 1436-47, Volume 2 (1963-1991). Geneva International Labour Office.

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by their collective strength and it is bargaining because in most times the process fit into the

practical solutions.     It is a general presumption in industrial relations that for an issue of

collective bargaining to arise in the first place there must be grievance on the side of the

workers unions or the side of the employers union to consider its settlement. This research

will examine the nature of grievance of industrial conflict and such similar trade disputes

with a view to identify the role of collective bargaining in settlement of this dispute and also

in keeping harmony in labour relations.

1.2       Statement of the Problems

The main purpose of collective bargaining remains to settle terms and conditions of

employment. As Lord Donovan put it for the Privy Council, it is of course true that the main

purpose of most trade unions of employees is the conditions. In the course of this research

work, the following research problems have been highlighted,

a. Status have always taken a hand in regulating the minimum terms and conditions of

employment, although statutory regulations have been inadequate not only in respect of

the quality and quantity of its provisions but also with respect to the area or subject matter

covered. Thus, matters such as job security, redundancy, health, welfare and safety of

workers have not received as much statutory intervention as modern employment

conditions would appear to demand.

b. The question of employees participation in decision making at his place of work, often

referred to as industrial democracy, has received only rudimentary attention and only in

company law.

c. Status gave rather early attention to the protection of certain categories of employees.

Every human society and culture creates some kind of labour relations system or

system of relations between (on the one hand) the people who head the organizations and

direct the activities which provide goods and services society needs and (on the other hand)

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