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Chapter One: The Impact of Strike Action on the Achievement of Trade Union Aims in an Organization Introduction:


The early 1970s marked the conclusion of a political crisis, during which organised labour, previously suppressed during the civil war, regained its freedom. This led to a conflict over whether industrial activity should be abandoned in favour of prioritising national security.

During the period of the civil war, the labour movement actively advocated for enhancements in the wage structure and various employment conditions across the nation.

The occurrence of worker protests, combined with the government’s increasing recognition of the unfavourable economic conditions faced by the working class, ultimately resulted in the formation of specific commissions such as the Adebo commission.

From 1970 to the present, there has been a notable growth in workers’ demands, which has proven challenging to meet in light of economic recessions. As a result, employees have exerted pressure on management to address their demands.

This study intends to analyse the underlying causes of strikes, as well as the subsequent effects and the efficacy of strikes as a tool utilised by trade unions to attain their objectives. A concise overview will be provided of the historical background and evolutionary trajectory of trade unionism in Nigeria.

A strike, as stipulated in section 37 (1) of the Trade Dispute Act No. 7 of 1976, refers to the deliberate cessation of work by a group of employees acting collectively or the deliberate refusal of a specific number of employees,

under a shared understanding, to continue working for an employer due to a dispute. This action is undertaken with the intention of exerting pressure on the employer or any other individuals or groups employed to support fellow workers.

In its current state, the phenomenon of strike represents a force that inflicts significant damage upon management. Each occurrence of a strike results in substantial losses, as evidenced by historical instances such as the first general strike in 1945, the 1993 strike (commonly referred to as the Asu strike), and the January 2000 strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

These strikes were triggered by disagreements between the government and civil servants regarding wages and allowances, resulting in the loss of approximately thirty working days. The decline in output was significant, prompting the government to address the issue by increasing salaries.

This occurred during the periods of 1980, 1982, 1993, and 1999, respectively. Consequently, there were instances of industrial and trade conflicts, as well as work stoppages, resulting in a major loss of man-hours and productivity within the country.

The recent surge in industrial discontent can be attributed to a clear lack of sufficient focus on the well-being of human workers within commercial organisations. There has been a significant recognition of the crucial role played by human factors in various sectors such as industry, commerce, and the civil service.

\The management’s persistent focus on profit maximisation has historically resulted in limited or negligible consideration of the human element inside the organisation.

The marginalisation of human aspects by management has been a significant yet underlying factor contributing to the escalation of strike actions and their subsequent effects. The objective of this study is to investigate and familiarise management with the strategies and resources available to address this multifaceted challenge.


The volatile industrial climate in Nigeria over the past decade has led to a significant increase in the cost of working hours and an unprecedented number of work stoppages due to strikes.

During the initial half of the year 1982, Nigeria incurred a cumulative loss of 4,598 man-hours due to labour strikes. The aforementioned figure denotes a substantial surge of 342% in the expenses incurred over the initial half of 1959. Furthermore, this amount surpasses the 2,244,984 man-hours by a staggering 100% or more.

In addition to these concerning instances of strikes. There are other additional cases that have been formally reported within the hundred. This research endeavour is undertaken within the context described above, with the specific objective of addressing the following inquiries:

1. The occurrence of trade conflicts and industrial unrest can be attributed to unresolved grievances.

What opportunities are available for addressing the grievance?

In the event of a strike, what are the established protocols for initiating and managing them?

Is striking the sole successful method for attaining the objectives of labour unions?



The objective of this study is to examine the efficacy of strike activities as a strategy for attaining union objectives vis-à-vis management. This research is grounded in a case study conducted on the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Enugu state.

The study specifically examines the issues pertaining to the instruments utilised by unions to achieve their demands from management, with a particular emphasis on strikes as a prominent tool for attaining union objectives.

The study also evaluates the efficiency of strike actions in accomplishing union goals, taking into consideration the frequency of such activities. The recommendations, derived mostly from the findings of this research,

will aim to enhance the efficacy of strike action as a means of attaining union objectives if implemented. If, however, the study proposes an alternative method for attaining the goals of the union that is more effective than going on strike, then naturally, that approach will be endorsed.


1.4 Scope of the Study

The study aims to comprehensively examine the overall operations of the Nigeria Union of Teachers Enugu, focusing on its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

The purpose of this study is to investigate and enhance the overall management practises inside the Nigeria Union of Teachers. The purpose of this study is to investigate and enhance the overall management practises inside the Nigeria Union of Teachers.


1.5 Research Questions

1. What advantages have you gained from membership in a labour union?

Is it advisable to pursue one’s objectives even within a non-unionized collective?
Has the implementation of strike action proven to be effective in facilitating the attainment of the union’s demands from management?

What is your perspective on the most efficacious method for initiating a strike action when it arises?

What is the impact of strike action on the attainment of economic growth?


1.6 Formulation of Research Hypothesis

Hypothesis: The utilisation of strike action does not contribute to the attainment of union objectives.

Greetings, Strike action is instrumental in the attainment of union objectives.

The null hypothesis posits that strike action has a negative impact on economic growth.

Greetings, The implementation of strike action has been found to have a positive impact on economic growth.

Hypothesis: The utilisation of constitutionally prescribed procedures may not be the most optimal approach for implementing action.

Greetings, The utilisation of constitutionally established procedures is widely regarded as the most efficacious approach to initiating action.

1.7 The Significance of the Study
The objective of this study is to provide insight to union members within established organisations, both public and private, on the significance of effectively organised strike actions in fostering organisational growth. Additionally, it will assist government parastatals in addressing employee issues and mitigating strike actions.

This study would be of great help to educators, with a specific focus on the Nigeria Union of Teachers as the chosen case study. Acquiring knowledge of their lawful entitlements as employees and understanding the process of initiating a strike as a means of pressuring the government to enforce certain welfare measures that enhance their motivation and commitment to work can be beneficial for individuals.

In contemporary Nigeria, both commercial and public organisations have numerous challenges as a result of labour strikes initiated by their respective workforce. The observed phenomenon has undoubtedly led to decreased productivity in the majority of organisations, but for some, it has posed significant challenges as confusion tends to be the prevailing outcome.

Consequently, this study holds substantial significance for both employees and employers within the private sector of the economy. Students that are interested in conducting additional research on this topic can also derive advantages from this study.

Engaging in assignments and conducting research can contribute to academic improvement for any student who actively participates in these activities.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

In a research study of this nature, it is acknowledged that comprehensively addressing all desired aspects is inherently challenging. There exist several elements that serve as obstacles to the achievement of this goal.

One of the primary variables contributing to the challenges I faced in conducting a comprehensive study was the limited time available. The relatively short duration allocated for completing and submitting this assignment,

combined with the time commitments associated with other classes, significantly impeded my ability to engage in a more extensive investigation.

The data collection process for this research article was ongoing throughout the period when the Nigeria Union of Teachers encountered difficulties related to salary non-payment. The issue of administering the questionnaire to the respondents posed a significant challenge, resulting in the inability to gather the desired amount of information.

Ultimately, my financial limitations proved to be a significant hindrance, preventing me from accessing a wide range of schools and obtaining more comprehensive information. However, despite these challenges, I was able to moderately achieve the objectives of my research, albeit mostly due to my perseverance and determination.

1.9 Definitions of Terms

This book employs some phrases that require further elaboration in order to enhance comprehension for all readers.

A strike refers to the collective action taken by a group of employed individuals who cease work or refuse to continue working for an employer due to a dispute. This action is undertaken with the intention of compelling the employer or any other individuals employed to support fellow workers.

2. GRIEVANCE – This term refers to a legitimate or perceived instance of dissatisfaction or objection, typically leading to a formal complaint or protest.

A trade dispute refers to the verbal discussion, debate, and disagreement that arises during the process of purchasing and selling commodities or services, as well as the exchange of goods for monetary or non-monetary items.

Economic growth refers to the deliberate pursuit of profitability within the field of production, distribution, and consumption of goods, with the aim of enhancing the material prosperity of a nation.

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