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EVALUATION OF THE ROLE OF INDUSTRIAL UNION IN MANAGING EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCES IN THE ORGANISATION

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EVALUATION OF THE ROLE OF INDUSTRIAL UNION IN MANAGING EMPLOYEE GRIEVAS IN THE ATION

CHAPTER 1

1.1      BACKGROUND OF THE

 Nigerian Labour Law defines the INDUSTRIAL UNION

        any combination whether temporary or permanent,

the principal objectives of which under its constitution

are the regulation of the relations between workmen

and workmen or between masters and masters or the

imposing of restrictive condition on the conduct of any

trade or business and the provision of benefit to members

        (cited in Fajana, 1995: 132).

        This definition would be seen to incorporate a large variety of organizations and groups under union. Another definition of the concept regards it as,

an association of wage or salary earners formed with

the object of safe guarding and improving the wage

and employment conditions of its members and to

raise members’ social status and standards of living

in the community (Fajana, 2000).

        The preceding definition emphasizes on the purchase of labour power as a factor of production. Industrial union is here differentiated from other organizations or associations by the emphasis on the pursuit of better improved condition of service for members.

        Sidney and Beatrice Webb (1920) offer the following definitions of union:

             A continuous association of wage earners for the

purpose of maintaining or improving the condition

of their working lives.

        This definition emphasizes the dynamic essence of union being a continuous association of wage earners. However, it may be seen as to narrow since unions are not merely concerned with the improvement of working condition.

        Beanc () maintained that union is best described as

institutional representation of workers interest

both within the labour movement and in wider

society and they accentuate the collective rather

than the individual power resources of employers.

        The radical school of thought gives a contrasting definition of the concept. Industrial union is defined as

        the conveyor belt of the workers desire to

put an end  to wage slavery and radically

transform the society (Hyman, 1971).

        This definition conceives union as representing the means of actualizing the impeding working class  revolution which in the Marxian thought is inevitable in every capitalist society.

        The various definitions provided here reflect on the role of union in the society which include among others

–                     checking the excesses of employers;

–                     forum for actualizing the revolutionary potential of labour;

–     defend members’ interest against management action or misdeeds;

–     resistance against capitalist domination;

–     providing an opportunity for workers to be equal partners to management;

–     providing workers with a measure of collective strength;

    –     vehicle of revolutionary social change.

Many questions have been asked as to the role of unions. A number of such roles can be identified. First, is  to improve the bargaining strength of the workers vis a vis the employer. This is achievable through regular consultation with the employer and management on issues relating to the terms of employment and general working condition of the workers.

   Secondly, is to protect workers from humiliating job especially with regards to the treatment of workers by the management. Industrial unions achieve this goal through rising to the defense of the workers whenever management policy tends to degrade their condition.

Thirdly, the union provide collective identity to workers while at the same time representing a  forum of collective bargaining for workers.

Fourthly, union act to influence on programmes concerning workers. As workers representatives, union becomes a virile pressure group in advancing the interests of members both within the workplace and in the larger society.

    Lastly, union perform social objective in cooperating with other elements the society  in promoting social and economic development and advancement of the community.

Nigerian Labour Law defines the concept as,

        any combination whether temporary or permanent,

the principal objectives of which under its constitution

are the regulation of the relations between workmen

and workmen or between masters and masters or the

imposing of restrictive condition on the conduct of any

trade or business and the provision of benefit to members

        (cited in Fajana, 1995: 132).

        This definition would be seen to incorporate a large variety of organizations and groups under union. Another definition of the concept regards it as,

an association of wage or salary earners formed with

the object of safe guarding and improving the wage

and employment conditions of its members and to

raise members’ social status and standards of living

in the community (Fajana, 2000).

        The preceding definition emphasizes on the purchase of labour power as a factor of production. Industrial union is here differentiated from other organizations or associations by the emphasis on the pursuit of better improved condition of service for members.

        Sidney and Beatrice Webb (1920) offer the following definitions of union:

             A continuous association of wage earners for the

purpose of maintaining or improving the condition

of their working lives.

        This definition emphasizes the dynamic essence of union being a continuous association of wage earners. However, it may be seen as to narrow since unions are not merely concerned with the improvement of working condition.

        Beanc () maintained that union is best described as

institutional representation of workers interest

both within the labour movement and in wider

society and they accentuate the collective rather

than the individual power resources of employers.

        The radical school of thought gives a contrasting definition of the concept. Industrial union is defined as

        the conveyor belt of the workers desire to

put an end  to wage slavery and radically

transform the society (Hyman, 1971).

        This definition conceives union as representing the means of actualizing the impeding working class  revolution which in the Marxian thought is inevitable in every capitalist society.

        The various definitions provided here reflect on the role of union in the society which include among others

–                     checking the excesses of employers;

–                     forum for actualizing the revolutionary potential of labour;

–     defend members’ interest against management action or misdeeds;

–     resistance against capitalist domination;

–     providing an opportunity for workers to be equal partners to management;

–     providing workers with a measure of collective strength;

    –     vehicle of revolutionary social change.

Many questions have been asked as to the role of unions. A number of such roles can be identified. First, is  to improve the bargaining strength of the workers vis a vis the employer. This is achievable through regular consultation with the employer and management on issues relating to the terms of employment and general working condition of the workers.

   Secondly, is to protect workers from humiliating job especially with regards to the treatment of workers by the management. Industrial unions achieve this goal through rising to the defense of the workers whenever management policy tends to degrade their condition.

Thirdly, the union provide collective identity to workers while at the same time representing a  forum of collective bargaining for workers.

Fourthly, union act to influence on programmes concerning workers. As workers representatives, union becomes a virile pressure group in advancing the interests of members both within the workplace and in the larger society.

    Lastly, union perform social objective in cooperating with other elements the society  in promoting social and economic development and advancement of the community.

The research therefore seek to  evaluate the role of union in managing employee grievances

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

A condusive and harmonious work place environment is the bedrock of employee productivity and organizational progress.However achieving this is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee.Recent trends shows that conflict between management and the employee is a recurring phenomenon arising from a number of factors of  employee grievance not addressed by the management

the most common types of employee and workplace grievances includePay and : This is the most common area of employee complaints and grievances. These grievances may involve the amount and qualifications for pay increases, pay equity for comparable work within the organization, and the cost and coverage of benefit programs. Workloads: Heavy workloads are a common employee and workplace grievance. If you work for a company that is going through lean times, you may have been asked to take on more work without a pay increase. Perhaps your employer decides not to fill a vacant position and instead assigns additional work to you and your colleagues. Such situations lead to employee frustration and dissatisfaction. Work Conditions: A safe and clean work environment is crucial to employee satisfaction and motivation. Extensive state and federal regulations protect worker health and safety. Employees who believe a company is not following applicable regulations and guidelines may decide to file a grievance. Union and Management s: When unions represent employees, both the union and management must avoid unfair labor practices. These illegal acts involve threatening or coercive behavior by either party designed to obtain an employee’s loyalty or cooperation. The National Labor s Act specifies unlawful activities for employers and unions. For example, employers cannot threaten employees with termination if they vote for a union. Employees may file grievances when they experience unfair labor practices.Businesses need effective policies and procedures to resolve the different types of employee grievances. Some employees will use grievance procedures just to express frustration, while others will file a grievance to influence future contract negotiations or protest unlawful practices. In all cases, managers should strive for the most effective possible resolution.The role of the union is imperative in providing effective representation for the worker in addressing issues with management through collective bargaining for improved worker condition.Therefore the problem confronting this research is to determine the role of union in managing employee grievances in the organization

1.3      RESEARCH QUESTION

1 What is  the nature of employee grievance

2  What is the  nature of union

3 What is the role of union in managing employee grievances in the organisation

4 What is the nature of the role of union in managing employee grievances

In the Abia state civil service

1.4      OBJECTIVE OF THE

1 To determine the nature of employee grievances

2 To determine the causes and effect of employee grievances

3 To determine the nature and role of union in managing employee grievance

4 To determine the nature and role of union in managing employee grievance in the Abia state civil servic

1.5      OF THE

The research shall profer a structural of the role of union in managing

Employee grievance in the organization

It shall serve as a veritable source of information to managers, union leaders and other professional in relation.

1.6      STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS

1   Ho   Employee grievance in Abia state civil service is low

     Hi   Employee grievance in Abiastate  civil service is high

2   Ho  Employee grievance is  not given significant attention in Abia State Civil service

Hi  Employee grievance is given significant attention in Abia state civil service

3   Ho   The role of union is not effective in handling employee grievance in Abia State

Civil Service

    Hi   The role of union is effective in handling employee grievance in Abia State Civil service

1.7      SCOPE OF THE

The research  focuses on the of  the role of union in managing employee grievance in the organization with a case study of the Abia state civil service.

1.8      DEFINITION OF TERMS

INDUSTRIAL UNION DEFINED

an association of wage or salary earners formed with

the object of safe guarding and improving the wage

and employment conditions of its members and to

raise members’ social status and standards of living

in the community (Fajana, 2000).

EMPLOYEE GRIEVA DEFINED

What can employees do when they are dissatisfied with the terms or conditions of their employment? Have you ever worked for an employer who you believed did not meet the terms of your employment contract? Perhaps you were not fully compensated for your work or you experienced unsafe work conditions. In this situation you may wish to file a formal complaint against your employer. This is known as an employee grievance.

WILDCAT STRIKE: This form of strike is in violation of contract and not authorized

by the union because no reason or notice is given to employer before embarking on

it.

 SIT-DOWN STRIKE: This is type of strike involve workers being present at work

but literally not working.

 CONSTITUTIONAL STRIKE

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