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LABOUR UNREST AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA.

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ABSTRACT

One of the major impediments to development in Nigeria is labour unrest. This is given the fact that no Nation can develop without human resource because they constitute and play very significant role in Nation building and development. The Nigerian case has been so pervasive that labour unrest extends to every situation when the Government takes major public policy decision that seems to affect the labour union and generally the masses without due consultation of labour statement; especially that which affects the social life of their member and welfare packages of the entire masses, specifically that which affect the socio-economic and political aspects, hence Nigerian development remain dependent. Thus in our attempt to analyze and investigate this problem, we use the relative deprivation theory for theoretical framework while documentary research method was also used for gathering and analyzing data. This research work, labour unrest and underdevelopment in Nigeria: An appraisal from 2000 –2013 is being carried out for the purpose of assessing various means of curbing labour unrest. This study is however divided into five chapters, chapter one deals with the background of study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, significance of the study, hypotheses, method of data collection and analysis, scope and limitation of the study and definition of terms. Chapter two contains the public policies and labour unrest in Nigeria. In chapter three, we looked at labour unrest and underdevelopment. Chapter four of this work dealt with the strategies for curbing labour unrest in Nigeria. Finally, chapter five which is the last chapter efforts shifted to the summary, conclusion, recommendation and bibliography. However this work is very incisive, interesting and educating.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background of the Study

The organized labour union movements in Nigeria dates back to 1912, Nigeria workers like their counterparts in other developing countries have witnessed fundamental changes in their condition over time. To a large extent, labour unions have played significant roles in the transformation of most developing countries. Government is the largest employer of labour with private individual employing a minimal proportion of the working class (Fajara, 2000). In Nigeria, labour unions has become a very important agents of socio-economic transformation and class struggle (Aremu, 1996, Akinyanju, 1997) which began from the colonial struggle and continued till in the post independence era. In the later, labour unions played significant role in the struggle against dictatorial military rule in the country. In the same vein under the current civilian dispensation, labour unions is at the forefront of the struggle against unpopular government policies such as deregulation of the oil sector, retrenchment of workers and refusal to honor agreement on wage increase.

Nigeria is a third world country that comprise of labour unions spread across the country. The unions are structured into industrial line and as at 1977 precisely 42 labour unions were recognized by the Government and allowed to contribute enormously to the development of economic, social, cultural and even political system of the state. The role of these labour unions is usually regarded as people oriented because it tends to oppose Governmental policies and decisions not favorable to the masses through strike actions, protest etc popularly called labour unrest. However, in a multi ethnic democratic country like Nigeria, there exist different labour unions across the country. But for the purpose of this study, we shall dwell more on those labour unions that have in one way or the other succeeded in influencing Governmental policies and decision. In the past such as: National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria LabourCongress  (NLC), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAU) Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ).

In 1978 however, it’simportant to note that Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) was formed and inaugurated and the 42 industrial unions became affiliates of the Nigerian Labour Congress with a legal backing of the trade union amendment Decree 22 of 1978. Again in 1989 the trade union was restructured to become 29 affiliates unions to the Nigerian Labour Congress after their role against the anti-people Structural Adjustment programme of General Babangida. Consequently, in 2005, the trade union act section 33 (2) was amended by substituting organization” for the phrase the intention was to weaken the cohesion of the trade unions.

Since time immemorial labour unrest has always occupied the front burner of criticisms and oppositions. in Nigeria whenever the Government through its policies makes life unbearable for its citizens. Nevertheless most activities of the organized labour in the form of unrest to attack Government policies and programmes often result in underdevelopment and grounding of the economy culminating in loss of revenues and sundry economic activities. However, it is not implausible to aver that one of the greatest problems that result to labour unrest and consequently underdevelopment is Governmental policies and the ph “fede programmes.

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