INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

Topics: Trade union, Sani Abacha, Nigeria Pages: 5 (952 words) Published: November 13, 2014
EXPLAIN HOW COMPONENTS OF EACH OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS THAT AFFECT INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS It is common knowledge that industrial relations cannot exist in isolation as it takes place within a system comprising of factors, each of which affects all the other factors. A change in one factor will bring about a change in each of the other factors. It goes without saying therefore that certain external forces influence the industrial relations system and in turn, it also impacts on the outside environment. When faced with such changes, it becomes important for the parties involved in the industrial relations system to reposition themselves to meet the challenges that come with the change. INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND GOVERNMENT POLICY

In Nigeria for instance under the military rule, they operate a totalitarian regime characterized by suppression, repression, and suspension of constitutional rule, arbitrariness and unilateralism. Over the years, the first casualty of military coup is the trade union. As part of the pressure groups in the society the trade union has always been at the receiving end of harsh military policies. As the largest employer of labour, government involvement in industrial relations in Nigeria is pervasive. Under the military such involvement was manifested in the following ways: - i.                     Restrictions and outright ban of Trade Union activities: More than any other time, trade unions suffer from harsh and repressive government policies during military rule. Along with other pressure groups in the society, trade unions are prevented from holding rallies, embarking on strike, picketing members during strike and other legitimate activities of trade unionism. For instance, in the recent experience during the military regimes of General Ibrahim Babangida and Late General Sani Abacha , the government clamped down heavily on prominent trade unions in the country especially those who embarked on strike to press for the actualization of annulled June 12 Presidential election. These include PENGASSAN, NUPENG, ASUU and NBA. (Banwo, 1997; Olorode, 1997). ii.                   Denial of right of unionism: In Nigeria, a large number of workers are denied the right of belonging to trade union of their choice. This development is most obvious during military rule. In several government-owned parastatals like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and the paramilitary organizations like Customs and Immigration Services, men and women working there are prevented from forming or belonging to trade union. iii.                  Arbitrariness on Labour-Management Issues: As an important actor in Nigeria’s industrial relations system, military government often engaged in arbitrariness in dealing with labour-management issues(Babawale, 1997). Instances of such unilateral actions abound in the history of industrial relations in Nigeria. For instance, in 1984, the then military administration led by General Muhammadu Buhari sacked a number of striking medical doctors in the public service. Other instances include lay-off of workers without resort to due process. (Howard, 1991).  iv.                 Erosion of the rule of law: Industrial relations thrive better in a democratic environment where the rule of law and other ingredients of democratic values are supreme. Military rule is often characterized by flagrant violation of the tenets of the rule of law. Not only is constitutional rule suspended, but also more fundamental is flagrant disobedience of court judgments and obvious transgression of justice (Howard, 1991, Scheider, 1992). INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND THE ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

The Economical System: This comprises products market, the labour market, money market and technological innovation. The ability of a company to meet its obligations to the workers may be a functions of the demand of the companys product. If a company is unable to sell its products, such a...
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