IMPACT OF TRADE UNION ON WORKERS COMMITMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY
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In Nigeria, and to the world at large. It is considered that the labour forces (workers) are the most important instrumental asset in which business organizations, institutions such as colleges, universities etc use in achieving success and growth of any establishment which prompt the focus of this study. The impact of trade union on workers commitment in which Nigerian union of teachers (NUT) was taken as a case study. Two major hypothesis were formulated. The method of data collection was both the primary and secondary data. While the chi-square method was used for data analysis. The findings revealed that trade unions involvement has impact on workers commitment. It is the major reason for the formation of trade union which is formed to improve the working conditions of its members to work. The researcher also recommended that for impact of trade union on workers commitment to be effective, the trade union and those authorities responsible for the welfare of these workers should come together in reviewing those issues affecting workers commitment, such as life after retirement which is the most important issue considered by the workers.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
“Trade union” has been defined as the association of organisations wages and salary earners formed for the purpose of maintaining and improving the employment conditions of its members in a firm or organisation. Therefore, this purpose, the trade union impact a lot of qualities on the workers (employees) based on their efficiency and commitment to work in an organisation. Thus, the workers gain improved working conditions through the trade union activities from the management of the organisation most especially when the employees are slow to action on the demand of the workers (employees).
According to Prof Web (2003), a trade union is a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of employment, Unions Act (Cap.233), defines a trade union as an association or combination, whether temporary or permanent, of more than six persons, the principal objects of which are under its constitution the regulation of the relations between employees and employers. 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).
When the problems facing workers are achieved through the trade union, it in turn motivates the workers (employees) to be more committed, focused and dedicated to their jobs due to the sense of belonging that has been achieved by the trade union on behalf of the workers in the firm. Also trade union has impact on workers commitment most especially on the area of competitors. Thus it is known that the trade union achieves its objectives through collective bargaining. If the purpose of the trade unions have not been achieved because they act as representatives to the workers and the consequences will result as strikes which is not good for the organisation in achieving its objectives, the workers will be committed to work more efficiently and help the organisation to sustain competitive advantage over its competitors unlike the strike carried out recently by NUT which was due to poor salary scheme policy by the federal government to the educational sector or as compared to the other sectors. The result of this problem will be discomfort and nonchalant attitude to the teachers (workers) to do their jobs. If it is not properly handled by the government and the consequence will bring a lot of disorder in the education system.
In other words the trade union showed their impact on workers commitment to their jobs in an organisation by going into dialogue with the federal government in resolving the problem facing the NUT . Thus making them committed and efficient to the education sector of the country and to the society at large.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
When focusing on the problems facing workers in an organisation, the problems that quickly come to mind, are:
- Unsatisfied health and safety working conditions of workers in an organisation
- Improvement in the terms of employment conditions, these are;
- By recruiting the right employee into the organisation
- Providing a good salary scheme for the workers in the organisation.
- Ensuring that employee jobs are being secured by the organisation
- Unjustified termination of employment by the employer (management of the organisation) to an employee of an organisation
- Disruptive/ harmful public policies made by the government which affects the employee’s productivity.
TUCTA report (2007) stated that there is absolutely no doubt that both government employees and non-government employees despite of being members of trade unions still remain with working grievances like law wages, poor working conditions, poor health and safety, fear of termination to their employers when demanding their interests, unlawful termination, fear to participate on lawful activities of trade unions.
HakiElimu and TTU (2004) conducted a study to investigate teachers’ payment in Nigeria and realized that teachers are earning less than what is required for their human survival. Teachers in Nigeria earn about $120 a month. Sumra (2006) who claims that “teachers are facing many and complex problems in Nigeria’. These problems range from low salaries to low status”. John (2010) indicates that Government schools do not offer quality education because teachers are demoralized to work effectively due to low salaries they get, poor working conditions and poor treatment they are getting from the government. This study therefore seeks to investigate the impact of impact of trade union on workers commitment and organizational productivity using NUT, Enugu State as a case study.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to examine the impact of impact of trade union on workers commitment and organizational productivity. Specifically, this study seeks to:
- To ascertain the impact of trade union in managing working grievances of teachers in Enugu State.
- To examine the role of trade union in ensuring a safe working environment of teachers in Enugu State..
- To determine the extent at which trade union involvement have impact on workers’ commitment and productivity in organization.
- To determine the whether trade union is the most appropriate means of achieving the commitment of teachers in an organisation.
- To investigate the challenges facing trade union in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The relevant research questions related to this study include the following:
- What is the impact of trade union in managing working grievances of teachers in Enugu State?
- What the role of trade union in ensuring a safe working environment of teachers in Enugu State?
- To what extent does trade union involvement have impact on workers’ commitment and productivity in organization?
- Is trade union the most appropriate means of achieving the commitment of teachers in an organisation?
- What are the challenges facing trade union in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
For the purpose of this research, three hypothesis were formulated,
HO1: Trade union involvement has no impact on workers’ commitment in organisations.
HO2: Trade union is not the most appropriate means of achieving the commitment of teachers in an organisation.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study is established knowledge based on trade union impact on workers commitment in an organisation. This study critically appraise the activities of the trade union and how they are of good benefit on the work force of an organisation (employees) and making the workers productive, efficient and help in the survival of organisation by achieving its objective. Also this study will be of great benefit not only to the workers (employees) but the major players of industrial relations (employers of firms, the government and its agencies). And these benefits are achieved by establishing a friendly relationship between the trade union and this major players of industrial relations (the government and its agencies and the employers of organisations). Also to students who may be undertaking a study in the activities of the union.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The obstacles encountered in the appraisal of the topic is the time limit which the study must be completed and the limitation of financial resources, the disposal of the researcher in carrying out the project work for presentation approval in each chapter which has effect on the little finance of the researcher. The times to write the project, attend classes at the same time were among the limitations of the research.
1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to Nigerian union of teachers and teachers only in Enugu State, Nigeria. No effort is made to go beyond this in the study.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Employee: a person employed for wages or salary, especially at non-executive level.
Trade Union: A trade union is an organisation made up of members (a membership-based organisation) and its membership must be made up mainly of workers. One of a trade union’s main aims is to protect and advance the interests of its members in the workplace.
N.U.T: Nigerian union of teachers.
N.L.C: Nigerian labour congress.
N.C.S.U: Nigerian civil service union.
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