AN INVESTIGATION OF THE CAUSES OF STRIKE AND ITS EFFECT ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE (A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY)

ABSTRACT

 

The Research Study was carried out to examine the causes of strike and effect on academic performance of student and a case study of Lagos State University. In Chapter One, the topic was introduced with background to the study.  This was discussed extensively.  The chapter also included objectives and significance of the study, statement of the problem, research question, hypothesis, scope and limitation of the study with definition of terms. In Chapter Two, literatures relevant to the study were review.  It also discussed theories relevant to the study. Chapter Three discussed the methodology employed in the conduct of the research.  This chapter also covered the research design research population, sample size, data instrument and statistical techniques. Chapter Four covered the presentation and analysis of data, the data collected from the research questionnaire were analyzed: and the research hypothesis was tested using Chi-square statistical method. Chapter Five discusses the recommendations and suggestions for further studies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

                                                                                                                        PAGES

Title Page                                                                                                                  i

Certification                                                                                                             ii

Dedication                                                                                                                iii

Acknowledgment                                                                                                   iv

Abstract                                                                                                                    v

Table of Content                                                                                                     vi

 

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the Study                                                                         1

1.2      Statement of the Problem                                                                       5

1.3      Purpose of the Study                                                                                6

1.4      Scope of the Study                                                                                    7

1.5      Limitations of the Study                                                                           7

1.6      Research Questions                                                                                   8

1.7      Research Hypothesis                                                                                 8

1.8      Significance of the Study                                                                         9

1.9      Definition of Terms                                                                                    10

 

CHAPTER TWO

2.1      Conceptual Framework                                                                           12

2.2      Effects of Strike actions                                                                            16

2.3      Rocedual Conflicts                                                                                     20

2.4      Negative and Positive Effect of ASUU Strike                                      24

2.5      Authority and Conflict                                                                              27

 

CHAPTER THREE

3.0      Methodology                                                                                              31

3.1      Design of the Study                                                                                   31

3.2      Area of Study                                                                                              32

3.3      Population of the Study                                                                           32

3.4      Sample and Sampling Technique                                                           33

3.5      Instrument for Data Collection                                                               34

3.6      Validity of Instrument                                                                               35

3.7      Method of Data Collection                                                                      36

3.8      Method of Data Analysis                                                                          37

 

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0      Introduction                                                                                                38

4.1      Data Presentation and Analysis                                                             39

4.2      Data Analysis                                                                                               39

4.3      Testing of Hypothesis                                                                               44

4.4      Decision Criterion                                                                                      45

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

Summary of Findings, Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1      Summary of Findings                                                                                49

5.2      Recommendation                                                                                      51

5.3      Conclusion                                                                                                   52

5.4      Implications                                                                                                 53

5.5      Limitations of Study                                                                                  54

            Bibliography                                                                                                56

            Appendix                                                                                                      58

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Strike action also called labour strike or industrial, action is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employee(s) to work. A strike usually takes place in respond to employee grievances. ·Strike 'became important during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labour became important in factories and mines. In most countries, they were quietly made illegal, as factory owners had far more political power than workers. Most western countries partially legalize striking in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

 

Strikes are sometimes used to put pressure on government to change polices. Occasionally, strike destabilizes the rule of a particular political party or ruler. In such cases, strikes are often part of a broader social movement taking the form of a campaign of civil resistance. A notable example is the stoppage of work by the indigenous railways workers in (1932) led by Pa Michael Imodu during the colonial era and the first general strike of (1945) in Nigeria.

 

Since 1970 to present time, workers demand for improved condition of work and wages have increased the number of strike actions as management most times would not accurately satisfy the needs and requests of employees even in the face of economic recession.

 

In this study, however, we are going to examine the causes of strike, i.e. consequences and impact in the achievement of trade union objectives.

 

Strikes are the most significant aspect of industrial conflict. Strike is defined as the temporary stoppage of work in the pursuance of grievance or demand. In practice however, 'it has been difficult to separate strike from other forms of expression of industrial dispute as employer lock out workers and workers themselves embark on strike action.

 

It is more useful to view both phenomena as part and parcel of the conflict situation, not as opposite. Rarely does a strike occur over a single issue for an obvious cause may be linked with several other issues that not immediately apparent to the observation that have caused dissatisfaction because solutions to them have been long in coming. The actual occurrence of strike depends on several factors including prevailing circumstances. This also goes to show that few strikes occur spontaneously especially as there is no way of guaranteeing that strike actions instead of the other forms of industrial action would be decided upon by workers Involved.

 

Each time strike occurs substantial man - hour is lost, a good example is the first general strike of (1945), the (1993) ASU strike where universities in the country was closed for couple of months thereby causing set back in the tertiary institution. The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, the two major umbrella bodies of workers union in Nigeria mobilized workers for an indefinite strike action which commenced on Monday, 9th January, 2012 to drive home the protest against the fuel subsidy removal of January 1st 2012. The government of Nigeria removed fuel subsidy by increasing the price of petrol per litre from N65 to N141 on January 1st 2012.

 

This nationwide strike affected the country's economy negatively where the volume of trading on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 82 percent, local flights were grounded, and lifting of crude oil was hampered. The strike had a lot of effect on the major sector of the economy as activities of the, (NSE) that are trading slumped by 80%, while banks complied with the strike order and closed shop, the NSE opened for business as usual. But at close of trading, only 46.06 million shares were traded in 20 deals.

 

This is a significant reduction when compared with an average 262 million shares worth about N1.05 billion traded in 2,509 deals the previous week. The Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) has led a number of general strikes in the past to mention a few. In 2004, the Nigeria Labour Congress gave the Federal government an ultimatum to reverse the decision to introduce the controversial fuel tax or force a nationwide protest strike. The strike threat was made despite the fact that the Federal High Court judgment in an earlier dispute had declared the organization lacking legal power to call a general strike over government policies.

 

It is in this context that the research wishes to access the impact of strike action on the achievement of trade union objectives in both private and public sectors in Nigeria and how management policies/decisions are influenced by workers through the representatives (trade union) to the effect of harmonizing management polices with trade union objectives enhancing efficiency as well as maintain good industrial relation peace and harmony in the work place using.

 

 

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The unstable industrial relation climate in Nigeria just within the decades has resulted in all-time record of lost working hours, unprecedented work stoppage as a result of strike action.

 

By October 1981,both federal and state government were broke, by December, seven out of the nineteen state governments could hardly pay the salaries of their employees; by June 1982,Bendel,Rivers,Cross Rivers, Benue and Imo States were owing teachers two to four months arrears. It was only when junior workers threatened strike action in Cross River state and teachers actually abandoned classes in Bendel State after not receiving January salaries as at April 1982 that both government cleared part of the outstanding amount .

 

In the first six months of the year 1982, Nigeria lost a total of 4,598 man- hours because of strike action by workers. The recent strike action embarked by Nigeria Labour Congress in January, 2012 has cost the country millions of naira as all the sectors of the economy which engage in productivity activities in order to boost the gross domestic product of the economy were closed down for couples of days.

 

1.3     PURPOSE OF STUDY

The purpose of this study is to probe into the effectiveness of an investigation of causes of strike objectives from the management. This study is based on a case study of LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY.

 

Precisely, the study is focused on following issues, "tools' for achieving union demands from management using strike as the major tools in achieving union objectives.

 

The recommendation which will be based mainly on the findings of the research will be implemented to strengthen the effectiveness of strike action as means of achieving union objectives. If on the other hand, the study suggest a better way of achieving union aims than strike, then of course the mentored will be recommended.

 

1.4     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The research work focuses particularly on and investigation of causes of strike. The research is conducted to 'cover and improve the management of organization focusing on the LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY. For this reason therefore, the researcher has consulted several reviews, on issues of strike and trade union to include text books industrial relation, management, social sciences. dissertations from academicians on related issues, Newspaper edits journal etc. the work would be very large if all the argument of the different authors are presented but they have been carefully selected so that only issues particularly concentrating on the impact of strikes on the achievement of education objectives are considered.

 

1.5     LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

A work of this nature is not easy to accomplish for its wide scope and for the expense it would involve such as financial problems, time constraint, material cost, apathy on the part of respondent and bureaucratic procedure involved in releasing data in the institution of my case study. The research would have been more expensive and capital intensive if it were to cover all universities, but it is limited to Lagos State University as the case study.

 

1.6     RESEACH QUESTIONS

  1. What is the perception of an average university student about ASUU strike action?
  2. How does the strike action by ASUU affect students' academic performance?
  3. What are the possible ways of minimizing the effects of ASUU strike on student's academic performance?
  4. What can be done by government to reduce the incessant strike action to the barest minimum?

 

1.7      RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The researcher formulates the following hypothesis based on the objectives and problems identified for the purpose of this research work stating them in both Null and alternate forms.

  1. Ho: institution objectives are low where there is a strong and viable trade union.

H1: Institution objectives are high where there is a strong and viable trade union.

  1. Ho: Trade union and management do not co-operate to raise organizational objectives

H1: Trade union and management co-operate to raise organizational objectives

  1. Ho: There is no significant relationship between the activities of trade union and organizational objectives.

H1: There is a significant relationship between the activities of trade union and organizational objectives.

  1. Ho: Unstable union- management relationship has no significant effect on the organizational objective

H1: Unstable union- management relationship has significant effect on the organizational objective

 

1.8     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research work will be relevant to institutions and students.

It will be beneficial to other public sectors in Nigeria; it will also be of importance to government, academicians, potential and future researchers on the issue of the impact of strike action on the achievement of trade union objectives in an institution. This empirical study is also important for the reward of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in Guidance and Counseling.

The study will also identify how institutions and union can co­operate to enhance the achievement of educational objectives in an institution. It will provide a basis for trade union re­orientation objectives are achieved for better and harmonious institutional relationship. It will also provide a frame work for management and union to relate for achievement of educational goals.

 

1.9     DEFINITION OF TERMS

STRIKE: Strike is defined as a temporary stoppage of work in the pursuance of a grievance or demand.

TRADE UNION: Is a combination of workers who are wages or salary earners form for the purpose of regulating work terms and condition for maintenance and improving the employment condition of their members.

WORKING CONDITION: A comfortable environment (condition of staff offices and lecture hall, laboratory rooms and equipment, field and sports equipment, temperature and humidity, cleanliness, comfort and safety (of floors, classrooms and so fort) and efficiency (steady product flow, adequate wage and salary, performance approval, incentive, motivation and welfare services.

GRIEVANCE: situation of dissatisfaction, on the part of the workers of the institution.

EMPLOYEE: Refers to worker(s), person(s) responsible for carrying out day to day activities of the organization toward achieving the target goals.

EMPLOYER: Refers to the management board, one who engages human and material resources for the production of goods and services.

MANAGEMENT: Refers in this study to be the government, states government, body employer and its representatives, head of departments and supervisors inclusive.

DISPUTE: Is any argument or disagreement between employer and workers, or between workers and workers which is concerned with the employment and non-employment conditions of work of any person.

WORK: This implies any kind of purposive action i.e. whether paid or unpaid, full time or part time, formal or informal with reference to an organization; it used to imply the operation involved in a particular job or work.

ORGANIZATION: A group of people brought together for the purpose of achieving certain objectives, while these members may change the role of organization which is its basic unit is maintained.

CHAPTER TWO

2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW

Over the years, normal academic calendar of Nigerian universities had hardly ever been devoid of hitches. This is occasioned by what is perceived by the lecturers as the insensitivity, irresponsibility and the negligence of the Government. The unrelenting Union had in the past embarked on numerous strike actions in order to press in their demands of funding the educational sectors adequately and other pressing issues. The Government on its part has remained indifferent to their plights during those periods. Perhaps the Government sees the academic sector as having little or no direct significance to the economic development of the nation. The students are left to suffer during this impas.se. As a matter of fact, the unwholesome brunt students are made to bear cannot indeed be quantified in terms of their academics.

 

Prominent among these is the disruption of the academic calendar. As a result, students that are meant to spend four to five years to finish their first degree rather spend six to seven years. Invariably, the academic calendar of Universities all over the country cannot be controlled centrally by the federal ministry of education while each University becomes autonomous in the running of its own calendar (Ogbuka, 2000).

 

Leaders of ASUU under the aegis of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union at a meeting in Port Harcourt had directed members across the country to begin an indefinite strike over an alleged failure of government to address their grievances even after ASUU had granted it a two months grace. ASUU is asking government to improve university's funding, review the process of appointing Vice-Chancellors, review the retirement of lecturers to 70 years among others.

 

In directing members to commence the strike, ASUU President, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, said "NEC, having noted that the Federal Government neglected, ignored, failed and refused to implement the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement after more than two years of its signing, having squandered two months it requested without achieving any progress in the implementation of the agreement, having sacked the Implementation Monitoring Committee that served as the forum for dialogue with ASUU on this dispute, is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the government is terribly insincere and is manifestly unwilling to genuinely implement the agreement it freely entered into with ASSU. The government has abandoned the main tenet of industrial democracy- that all agreements freely entered into must be honored."

 

Therefore, ASUU resolved and painfully directed all members of ASUU in all branches nationwide to proceed on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike, beginning from the midnight of Sunday, 4th December, 2011. For the avoidance> of-doubt, a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike means: no teaching, no examination, no grading of scripts, no project supervisions, no inaugural lectures, no appointment and promotion meeting, no statutory meetings (Council, Senate, Board etc) or other meetings directed by government or their agents (Olugbenga,2011).

 

It is quite a pity that in spite of 14 years of civilian governments, no succeeding government has been able to find a lasting solution to the recurrence of strikes by university teachers in Nigeria. There is no doubting the fact that one of the major causes of educational problems in the country is incessant strikes by university lecturers, which are always precipitated by disagreements between government and teachers.

 

Going down memory lane, it is important to make mention of some protracted strikes during the military and present civilian regimes. The universities' academic calendar was greatly disrupted during the days of the military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd). The situation degenerated from bad to worse during the regime of another despot, the late General Sani Abacha. ASUU strike was experienced in Nigeria when the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo failed to implement the agreement reached with university teachers.

 

In a similar vein, the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua clashed with ASUU and another strike ensued. It is so unfortunate that the history of ASUU's industrial action repeated 'itself in the present dispensation under President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who himself was a former University lecturer.

 

Speaking with Vanguard Professor Peter Okebukola, former NUC Executive Secretary once said; it is importantnot to narrow down strikes in Nigerian universities to only one group such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). There are four staff unions (ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NATT) any of which, is capable of inflicting damage on the system when it calls its members out on strike.

 

There is also the Students' Union. The five unions have their different effects on the Nigerian university system any time they embark on industrial action. Apparently, it is the strike by ASUU that is mostly worrisome and that have the greatest deleterious effects on the educational sector and the society at large.

 

2.2      EFFECTS OF STRIKE ACTIONS

By allowing the university teachers to embark on an indefinite strike before opening any serious dialogue with their union, an erroneous impression is created that the government is impervious to dialogue and negotiations and that the only language it understands is strong-arm tactics - militancy in the Niger Delta or paralyzing strike by ASUU and other organized labour. Therefore a major lesson from the strike is the yawning absence of any institutionalized mechanism for industrial arbitration in the country. The government appeared even confused over which of its ministries - the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Labour ­should negotiate with ASUU. Not only is it embarrassing that a government cannot be trusted to keep its words, the lack of institutionalized mechanism for dealing with the incessant labour disputes in Nigeria is worrisome.

 

While there are sympathies for ASUU over the government's shabby handling of the situation, the lecturers by their incessant strikes that frequently disrupt the academic calendar, are now seen as part of the problems of higher education in the country. Since its formation in 1978, ASUU has had running battles with every government of the day, mostly over bread-and butter issues that are conveniently camouflaged under the veneer of fighting for better funding for education (Adibe, 2009).

 

During the period of strike, students, as a result of their idleness and frustration, engage in deviant behavior like robbery, arson, rape, touting and constitute nuisance to the society. When they are apprehended, their academics are abruptly truncated. In the years past, the country had been made to suffer immense loss of brains to other countries. It is still happening, as a result of their search for greener pastures. With this marginal loss, few remaining ones are inadequate to build up the academic performance of the students (Obasanjo, 2000).

 

Learning in Universities has been made irregular as students-may have forgotten what they have learnt before the disruption of an academic session upon their resumption to school. Memory is lost if what is being learnt is not reactivated over time. Statistical reports have shown that majority of failures in University are recorded in examinations taken immediately after students return from a long break. The situation witnessed in the University academics has resulted in the turning out of half-baked graduates into the labor market. These half-baked produced cannot live up to expectation in their various chosen professions. This is as a result of poor learning necessitated by poor services from aggrieved lecturers. Students have developed lack of interest in academics because of the usual long stay away from school; instead they indulge in frivolous activities (Adeniran, 2000). Contributory to this is the fact that the condition in which many of these students learn in some of the university is deplorable.

 

Strikes are not homogenous industrial events to the extent that they involve cessation of work, a breakdown in the flow of consent and open expression of aggression and remain a social phenomenon or enormous complexity, which, in its totality is never susceptible to complete description, let alone complete explanation (Gouldner, 1954; Poole, 1976). The strike is therefore of many varieties, which may involve all the workers or only key men. The following are one of the commonest forms: Wildcat strikes, sit down, sympathy, constitutional and unconstitutional strikes, official and unofficial Strikes.

 

The wildcat strike is so called because no reason or notice is given to the employer before embarking on it. Thus, it is in violation of the contract and not authorized by the union. Sit down strikes differ from the sit-ins, because sit downs do not necessarily involve the takeover of the company's assets and its management by the workers. Other than this, and like sit-ins, sit down strike involve workers in being present at work but not necessarily working.

Workers organization (trade union) and industrial conflict are related, Union members are more likely to strike than organized workers (Comte, 1997).

 

The economic model view strikes as bargaining outcomes. Workers' collective actions to them depend on mobilization of labor organization of some population as resources on behalf of the group's common objectives. They both believed that the mobilization or organizational capacity for collective action of workers (measured by union's membership) would be the most powerful prediction of strike.

 

Other factors that may cause strike includes dissatisfaction with wages, bad social condition, fatigue and frustration at work, and the discontent and aggressiveness that can come from a general feeling of inferiority (Olaiya, 2000).

 

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