Trade Union

6053 Words Jan 5th, 2011 25 Pages
TRADE UNIONISM, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND
NATION BUILDING: THE NIGERIAN EXPERIENCE
Charles N. Okolie
Introduction
It is a well known fact that the growth and development of any nation depends on the structures it has carved out for itself. In
Nigeria, amidst the various arms of the government which has been working tirelessly to ensure the growth and sustenance of the
Nigerian state is the emergence of trade unions. The colonial influence in Nigeria has left much to be desired. The emergence of these trade unions has become a desired form of association in order to restore the dignity of professional workers and more so ensure greater level of overall national output which is part of nation building. These unions operate on
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The first organization that is known to have had an interest in trade union activities was the mechanics mutual aid provident and mutual improvement association formed in July 1883. But the first trade union that is characterized by wage employment was the Nigerian service union organized in 1912. The union was more concerned with efficiency in the civil service and intensified nationalization of the service than with hard core trade unionism. Some other ones
138 Charles N. Okolie includes the railway workers union and the Nigerian union of teachers. Those who formed the railway workers union were dissenters from the civil service union. The reason for this break away of the railway workers to form the workers union was because they believed that the civil service union was too soft spoken on fundamental issues and more so, the civil service union was not responsive to the economic dictates of the period. More so because the new unions were made up of skilled workers or artisans in various trade, they were placed on a strategic position and so a strike by them could paralyse the economy.
As an offspring of this association of skilled workers, the NUT was formed. The reason for the formation was that the teachers were dissatisfied over conditions of employment. The African leaders were not happy that the working conditions in the mission schools were poorer than those of their contemporaries in the government
owned

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