The purpose of this study is to look into the role of trade union in promoting workers productivity in an organization. In respect of this topic, four research questions were postulated and tested for validation or rejection. All the four research questions were accepted based on the data collected and analyzed. Chapter one looks at the introduction, objectives of the study, significance of the study, historical background, limitation of the study as well as definition of terms. Chapter two focuses on the literature review, definition of trade union, the roles of trade union, the effect of welfare scheme on workers’ productivity, how trade union fulfills its aim of promoting worker’s welfare/productivity, employees participation in trade union, trade union employers relations, trade union government relations, notable achievement of trade union in Nigeria and problems facing trade in Nigeria. Chapter three is the research design (methodology) and emphasizes on primary and secondary sources of data collection. Chapter four covers the data analysis (presentation) of findings. Chapter five is the summary, conclusion and recommendations of this research work.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
It is no exaggeration that the workers working in organizations have been subjects of many scholarly researches. This is particularly true because of the numerous vital roles they play in the overall economics, industrial and political development of any state. Workers as a group who earn a living by selling their labour have some common interests. Combination, cooperation and even conflict may be employed in protecting and promoting group and individual interests. As a result, the social organizations are formed by individuals to achieve some common interests. The need for cooperation to promote common goals and interests explains the concept of trade unionism. The association that works form to protect and promote the common interest is known as a trade union.
Trade unions are vehicles for canalizing and pursuing the workers’ objectives, the workers objectives and expecting vis-à-vis his workers are essentially economic-to earn a wage for a living both for himself and his family. His expectation also has psychological and social foundations which become manifest as he settles into the work situation. Trade union acquires a legal status when it is registered according to labour law of the state. This makes it a recognized representation of its members in matters pertaining to their employment vis-à-vis their employers or the state.
In Nigeria, the legality of the trade union was pronounced in 1938 with the enactment of the trade union ordination. This was a great landmark in the history of modern unionism in Nigeria. It is true that the early trade union came into being in the 18th and 19th century in Britain and other industrialized countries as a means of fighting against the exploitations propensities of employers and to obtain improved wage and conditions of employments. Trade unionism is a child of industrialization, therefore it was not surprising that the country that pioneered the industrial development, Great Britain was also among the first to develop the modern trade union. Today, it is very interesting to know that trade union is more concerned with the whole life-style as well as the standard of living of their members. High productivity remains the focal point of any employer or organizations either product or service. The major objective of an organization with the employers can contribute immensely towards the concept of profit maximization. A productive system can be through as a whole economic of simply a group of people working together.
The productivity of the system is the amount of output that can produced from a given set of inputs-over the year, the trade unions have contributed immensely to the high productivity of many organizations through consultations, consolidation and confrontation.
The union contract provision calling for periodic pay increase apart from other negotiation is to compensate for continued increase in man-hour output by workers. High productivity is also important for maintaining or improving upon the level of employment. This is so because an enterprise to the extent the management thinks about the matter at all will continue to increase its labour forces as long as the value of the marginal product of labour exceeds the cost thee if that is the ruling wage. In organization, the promotion of workers can be done through motivation improved conditions of service, improving the communication system, workers participation in policies formulation, good relationship between the employers and the workers, good remuneration, to name but a few.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Historically trade union movement started in Nigeria early in the twentieth century and unlike other countries, the history shows that the first trade union was made of workers in wage employment. Despite the rapid development of the trade union in many organizations, there are major problems associated with productivity in organization. Now can the act of leadership be a problem of trade union and in relation to this it is problem of tribal sentiment that affect the promoting of workers welfare/productivity by the trade union. In addition to the above, could non-commitment of the trade union leaders affect their traditional functions? Also has the problems of finance and others contributed to the effectiveness of trade unionism in an organization. These and other problems are what the study is set out to solve.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
Based on the stated problems of trade union this research study will attempt to answer the following questions.
- Is there any need for trade union in an organization?
- Can a trade union contribute to the promoting of workers productivity?
- Can a trade union be faced with problems which may prevent it from performing its traditional role?
- It is possible for a trade union to overcome its problems?
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Several workshops, seminars and symposia have been organized to sanitize and educate the Nigerian workers on their rights and privileges but there were few of these gathering that centered around the roles of trade union in promoting workers productivity in an organization. From the foregoing the objectives of this study is to find out the impact of trade union on workers’ productivity in Nigeria.
In this regard, the researcher will like to:
- Identify the roles of trade unions in relation to workers productivity.
- To examine and evaluate the impact of trade unions on workers’ productivity.
iii. To highlight the specific roles/functions of trade unions.
- To identify the problems facing the trade unionism.
- To make appropriate recommendations with the view to enhancing the role of trade unions in promoting workers productivity.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The researcher study which is an attempt to find out the role of trade union in promoting workers productivity is of significance to the research organizations, students, trade unionism and the government.
The Researcher: The study will enable him to be better informed about the trade union role and also appreciate its efforts in an organization. In addition, it will enhance the researcher’s knowledge and general understanding of the place of the trade union in an organization.
Organization: It is expected that this study will enable the organization being used as a case study to be more enlightened on the issue of promoting of workers productivity through the trade union and also will help the formulation and implementation of employee welfare policies that will enhance high productivity in an organization.
Students: The study will assist students in conducting research, that is assessing their various roles and contribution to the workers’ productivity and towards the development of entire economy. This study will also encourage workers to join and support trade union activities.
Government: It is hoped that the research work will assist the federal government in evaluating and reviewing her existing policies as it relates to the trade union. In addition, the government will appreciate trade union as a partner in progress towards a greater Nigeria.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Trade union acts as an intermediary between employees and employers, it is in view of this that this project work is directed at examining the role of trade union in the welfare of workers vis-à-vis workers productivity in an organization.
1.7 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF FORMING UNION IN AN ORGANIZATION
Trade union originated from the historical circumstances of the British industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th century, a period of extensive use of inanimate sources of power in production. The activity was accompanied by progressive formalization of the work relationship in the form of the employment contract supposedly entered into between the employer of labour and the worker. This explains that in every organization or industry the trade union play a vital role in promoting worker’s productivity in an organization.
However, as time went on, workers saw the need to organize themselves into trade unions as the most effective means of both exerting and defending better terms and conditions from the employers. At the beginning, trade union was illegal but later gained recognition and acceptance.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Some problems were encountered in the course of the research work. Some of them are; this study is limited by time factor because of the nature of the semester, and it is expected of me to complete the project before the semester ends.