Public Administration

The Impact of Trade Unionism on the Growth of Public Sector Organization in Nigeria

The Impact of Trade Unionism on the Growth of Public Sector Organization in Nigeria


This subject of labor unrest has been a characteristic feature in Nigeria. “The question often asked is whether trade Unions are necessities of another colonial legacy which length to be retrained out of expediency. This research work, therefore, focused on the impact of trade Unionism and the growth of public sector organizations in Nigeria. A case study ASUP, Abia State Polytechnic, Aba chapter.

To justify the topic, the researcher consulted relevant textbooks on the topic as well as research conducted by other researchers. Again, to be abreast of relevant events or development, the Internet was explored, and newspapers were consulted.

The researcher found out that trade unions are necessary for the harmonious working relationship and industrial peace in organizations and the society at large.

This is to say where industrial Union exists, it may not at all be possible for the employer to always turn down employers’ interests and requests.

Therefore, the researcher concluded that trade unions are to the employees’ necessity, to the government a design, to society an accident, and the management expediency.


Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

1.2 Statement Of The Research Problem

1.3 Objections Of The Study

1.4 Significance Of The Study

1.5 Theoretical Framework

1.6 Essential Hypothesis

1.7 Limitation And Scope Of The Study

1.8 Clarification Of Concepts

Chapter Two

Literature Review

2.0 Introduction

2.1 History Of Trade Union In Nigeria

2.2 Registration Of Trade Unions

2.3 Benefits Of Registration

2.4 Objectives Of Trade Union

2.5 Functions Of Trade Union

2.6 Problems Of Trade Union In Nigeria

2.7 Some Forms Industrial/Trade Union Action:

2. 8 Causes Of Strike In Nigeria.

2.9 Trade/Industrial Dispute

2.10 Cause Of Industrial Conflict (Trade Dispute)

2.11 Dispute Settlement Procedures

2.12 Summary Of Literature Review.

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Research Design

3.3 Area Of Study

Achievement/Policies Of Asup In Abia State Polytechnic

3.4 Population Of The Study

3.5 Sample

3.6 Method Of Data Analysis.

3.7 Method Of Data Collection

3.8 Instrument Of Data Collection.


Data Analysis

Chapter Five

Summary And Conclusion

5.1 Summary Of The Study

Restatement Of Research Problem Purpose Of Study

Summary Of Finding






Trade Union is an association formed to regulate the terms and conditions of employment of workers. Before 1938 when trade union ordinance ushered in formal trade union activities, what looked like trade unions were in Nigeria in form of trade associations, craft and professional trade associations called African Guilds and Craft Association.

The major difference between the craft and professional trade association has what is today known as trade Union is that trade associations were formed for the benefit of workers in form of lending money to workers and exchanging tools. The association had a welfare scheme for distressed members and attend social functions of members (Okenwa 2001:10)

Yesufu (1962:6) observed that group activities of the sort being deserved were strongly rooted in the tribal structures and were widely spread. The main functions of the trade associations were to organize mutual aid to distressed members and to regulate trade practices.

Some of the trade and professional associations that existed before the formal trade union Movement were: mechanic Mutual aid, Artisans and laborers in the public works department (PWD) 1887, the Nigeria civil service union 1912. Nigeria Native railway Native staff union. 1919, etc. Trade Union activities later increased due to some reasons such as The 1938 Trade Union ordinance. The General Defense Regulation, 1942, the General Strike of 1945, and other factors too numerous to mention.

Presently in Nigeria, we have an industrial union of teachers (NUT), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), etc.

In the past two decades, there has been incessant industrial action in Nigeria due to agitations for better conditions of services by the trade unions. Most of the time, the Government does not always reach an agreement with them thereby leading to strikes. A strike can be devastating as it could cripple the nerve of the country’s economy. The increment of fuel price from N45 to N52 by President Olusegun Obasanjo Administration led to four (4) day strike that lasted between 11th-14th October 2004 which brought economic activities to a standstill. But after much negotiation between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President comrade Adams Oshomole and the Federal Government of Nigeria, the price was brought down to N49 per liter.

Also presently the academic staff union of Universities (ASSU) went on strike on the 22nd of June 2009 in line with the failure of the federal government to sign the agreement reached with them in December 2008. Despite the influence of trade unions in Nigeria, there have been strike upon strikes, why?

In an attempt to answer this question, this work is set out to find out if trade unionism has aided the growth of public sector organizations in Nigeria Using the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Abia State Polytechnic, Aba as a case study.


This project work dwells on Trade Unionism and the growth of public sector organizations in Nigeria. A case study of Abia State Polytechnic (ASUP), Aba chapter. The study reviews and projects it looks at attempts by trade unions to improve work performance.

Trade Union focuses on the quality of their employee’s work life, therefore will seek better ways to motivate employees, make decisions, allocate power and promote teamwork all in an attempt to enhance performance.

In many organizations, monetary and non-monetary motivational factors are applied to the employees to increased greater performance.

In consideration of this, the problem is to find out whether trade union in Abia State Polytechnic, Aba takes care of things like:

Measuring the standard of functionality and reliability covering the quality of work-life of the staff. The revelation of better ways of doing things such as employee’s motivation welfare decision-making. To determine to what extent the activities of a trade union are reliable ways through which an organization can grow. The reactions of trade unions in a time of the dispute.


The roles of trade unions cannot be over-emphasized in any organization. The main purpose of this research work is to analyze and evaluate if there is any relationship between trade unionism and the growth of public sector organizations in Nigeria with special references to the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics. Based on this main purpose of the study, the following objects are drawn:

1. To identify how the activities of the Trade Union affect the performance of employees in Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.

2. To expose how much the management of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba could use trade Union as a tool for enhancing organization growth.

3. To determine to what extent trade union enhances the job security of its members in Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.

4. To evaluate how the trade union has been able to settle the dispute in the organization.

5. to make relevant recommendations on the improvement of organizational growth in Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.

6. To determine to what extent non-monetary motivation like education has enhanced organizational growth.

7. To determine the extent the trade Union has inputs capacity development programs to improve organizational growth in the school


In the last two decades, there has been incessant industrial action in Nigeria even now due to agitations for better condition of services since the possibility of adopting the condition of employment have to need consistently high as a result of rising prices on consumers commodities in Nigeria. It is not surprising therefore that prices have tended to rise at an ever-increasing rate and in a climate of trade union militancy.

At the end of research work, one will find out that the trade union plays an important role in organizational growth and development, especially in Nigeria where protection is given to the members against the social-economic (i.e the government) who would have been treating their member as slaves and denying them of their rights.

Also, this research work is significant for corporate bodies like Abia State Polytechnic, Aba in that the subject matter trade Union and the growth of the public sector in Nigeria and across both service rendering and profit-oriented organizations. Knowing the impact of the trade union will help in formulation policies that will keep workers motivated and bring out the best in them. With such a focus, corporate bodies will be more result-oriented.

Finally, it is believed that the result of this research work and its relevance to societal needs will be of immense help to other research on such related subject matter.


Every good research work must be founded on one or two theories as the case may be. This particular research is built on the group Theory. This is the Framework adopted in the generation and analysis of data.

The adoption of the Group Framework of analysis draws from the appreciation that trade union is the society constitutes the focus of research represents a social group of other groups in the Nigerian society.

Trade Unionism effort towards participating in the improvement and development of both workers and organizations thus, we could talk of a trade union when discussing organizational growth in the public sectors in Nigeria. The application of Group theory exposes the basis of the state polytechnic in the pursuit of public sector organizational growth.

It also lays bare the reason why the union is not willing to sit by and allow the institution (school) to carry out all activities without putting the staffer’s perspectives into consideration.


Ho: Education of Union members has no significant positive impact on the performance of staff as well as organizational growth.

Hi: The education of union members has a significant positive impact on the performance of staff as well as organization growth.

Ho: The strike activity of the Union has no significant positive impact on the prompt payment of staff salaries as well as their performance creative impact on the prompt payment of staff salaries as well as their performance.

Hi: Strike activities of the union have a significant positive impact on the prompt payment of staff salaries as well as their performance creative impact on the prompt payment of staff salaries as well as their performance.

Ho: Grievance Procedure is not an effective tool for settlement of trade dispute in the organization.

Hi: Grievance procedure is an effective tool for settlement of trade disputes in the organization.


In this study, the following terms were defined for clarity.

1. TRADE UNION: It is an association of wage earners to maintain or improve the conditions of their workers’ lives.

2. STRIKE: A strike can be seen as a temporary stoppage of work or services.

3. ORGANIZATION: A group of people who are united for business or commercial purposes.

4. MOTIVATION: This is a term employed generally for the phenomenon involved in the operations of incentives and drives that motivates.

5. PERFORMANCE: This is a process of carrying out work and the ability to operate.

6. GROWTH: The process for development or increase in an economic activity like profitability etc.

7. PROCESSES: A series of steps (usually prescribed learned from experience or adopted for activity) used in understanding an action.

8. EDUCATION: This is a system of training and instruction designed to give knowledge and development skills.

9. JOB SATISFACTION: It is a general level; of contentment, affection, and Positive thinking or feelings employees derive from performing a task.

10. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE: this is internal or voluntary marching, which is used for dispute settlement in an organization.

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