THE EFFECT OF LABOUR RELATIONS, TRADE UNIONISM AND WAGES ON EMPLOYEE WORK ATTITUDE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

All over the world, employee’s right has always been protected through effective labour relations and the activities of the trade unions which have in turns proven to the effective in shaping employee work attitude (Trevor, 2006). However, labour relations involve the practice of managing unionized employment situations (Heery, 2011). Proper management of such relations should contribute positively to the morale of the employee.

Trade union is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve common goals such as protecting the integrity of its trade, improving safety standards, achieving higher pay and benefits such as health care and retirement, increasing the number of employees an employer assigns to complete the work, and better working conditions. This can be seen from the outcomes of strikes by trade unions in Nigeria that always leads to salary and wages increment for the workers. These wages has in turn been the major factor that has continue to motivate the workers to better performance.

The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers (Trevor, 2006). The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and also have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them legally to their negotiations and functioning (Gall, 2003). Labour relations is the norm in situation where trade union does not exists. It is important that professional rendering the same services should come together and make collective demand from the employee when the need arises. Labour relations should invariably lead to adequate and timely wages if properly managed.

A trade unions leadership bargains with the employer on behalf of its members on terms and conditions of employment. This may include negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on the entire membership and the employer and, in some cases, on other non-member workers (Thomas and Daryl, 2012).

An ingenious alternative approach compares productivity according to the governance of the firm (Hsu, M.K 2003).  The researcher is also of the opinion that the importance of good wages on workers attitude should be a good one.

Salary and wages are the money paid to an employee by the employer with respect to the services rendered by the employee for a period of time that was agreed upon by both parties. Wage, when it is paid daily and salary, when it is paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Esien (2002) went further in drawing distinction between wage and salary. He opined that “in the past, important distinctions existed between wages and salary, but today, the words are used interchangeably, reflecting the convergence of method of paying skilled and unskilled employees that has happened over 40 years. A salary was defined as a fixed annual amount, paid monthly. Wages in contrast were variable weekly payments (usually made in cash) that fluctuated in value through overtime, bonuses, and piecework rates. Salaries were determined individually; wages through management/union collective bargaining” (LRD, 2009). Today, however, many salaried workers are unionized and paid according to union negotiated salary scales, with annual increment; while large numbers of wage earners now receive relatively stable time based earnings. Based on all these, the research is examining the effect of labour relations, trade unionism and wages on employee work attitude.

1.2       PROBLEM STATEMENT

The major role of Labour relations and trade unionism in Nigeria is that they organizes for protection and promotion of interests of their members in particular and workers in general. It generally pursues the broad purpose of steady employment, which is something the employer by himself may not be able to guarantee to the workers. Achievement of this aspiration may, therefore, involve workers in political action, through their unions, for maintenance of full employment. The concern of the researcher is the fact that many of the activities of the trade unions has led to salary increments and many other good things in Nigeria while other times, it has led to discrimination and intimidation of the active union members with various forms of threat to their lives. This study examining therefore examining the effect of labour relation, trade unionism and wages on the employee work attitude.

 

1.3       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions were raised in this study:

  1. What is the effect of labour relations on employee work attitude in Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of trade unionism on employee work attitude in Nigeria?
  3. What is the effect of wages on employee work attitude?

1.4       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the effect of labour relations on employee work attitude in Nigeria.
  2. To examine the effect of trade unionism on employee work attitude in Nigeria.
  3. To examine the effect of wages on employee work attitude.

1.5       HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis One

HO1: There is no significant relationship between labour relation and employee work attitude in Nigeria.

HA1: There is significant relationship between labour relation and employee work attitude in Nigeria.

Hypothesis Two

HO2: There is no significant relationship between trade unionism and employee work attitude in Nigeria.

HA2: There is significant relationship between trade unionism and employee work attitude in Nigeria.

Hypothesis Three

HO3: There is no significant relationship between wages and employee work attitude in Nigeria.

HA3: There is significant relationship between wages and employee work attitude in Nigeria.

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The results from this study will be useful for government and private business administrators as it will form a guide for them in handling trade union and labour relation issues. This will also educate on how to use labour relations and trade unionism as a tool to enhance employee attitude. This study will also reveal the effect of wages of employee work attitude.
  2. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of labour relations, trade unionism and wages on employee work attitude, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area

1.7       SCOPE/LIMITATIONS

This study is limited to the academic staff union of universities, ASUU. It will cover the trade union and labour relations activities and its effect on the attitude of the employee towards the work.

LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

 Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

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