Collective bargaining is an industrial practice made to enhance harmony by mutual settlement of trade disputes between an employer and workers or their respective unions. The term collective bargaining is applied to the arrangement under which wages and conditions of employment are settled by a bargain inform of an agreement made between employers or associations of employers and workers organizations. The International Labour Organization Convention1 enjoins members of the organization to take measures appropriate to national conditions however necessary to encourage and promote the full development and utilization of machinery for voluntary negotiation between employers and workers with a view to regulate the terms and condition of employment by means of collective agreements.
The practice of collective bargaining has long been accepted by all side to the employment relationship. This is mainly because the interest of government employees and trade unions rest on the process of consultation and discussion which is the foundation of democracy in industry.
Collective bargaining includes all methods by which groups of workers and relevant employees come together to attempt to reach an agreement in matters under discussion by a process of negotiation, such matters are often regarded as constituting a challenge which generates into a competitive rivalry and usually the method of reaching a decision is compromise.
These methods or process are considered collective because it replaces the individual workers feeble attempts to gain improvement for himself and is instead based upon a joint or collective effort and experience many workers channeled through their union and enhance
- International Labour Conventions and Recommendations 1919-1991, 1436-47, Volume 2 (1963-1991). Geneva International Labour Office.
by their collective strength and it is bargaining because in most times the process fit into the practical solutions. It is a general presumption in industrial relations that for an issue of collective bargaining to arise in the first place there must be grievance on the side of the workers unions or the side of the employers union to consider its settlement. This research will examine the nature of grievance of industrial conflict and such similar trade disputes with a view to identify the role of collective bargaining in settlement of this dispute and also in keeping harmony in labour relations.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
The main purpose of collective bargaining remains to settle terms and conditions of employment. As Lord Donovan put it for the Privy Council, it is of course true that the main purpose of most trade unions of employees is the conditions. In the course of this research work, the following research problems have been highlighted,
- Status have always taken a hand in regulating the minimum terms and conditions of employment, although statutory regulations have been inadequate not only in respect of the quality and quantity of its provisions but also with respect to the area or subject matter covered. Thus, matters such as job security, redundancy, health, welfare and safety of workers have not received as much statutory intervention as modern employment conditions would appear to demand.
- The question of employees participation in decision making at his place of work, often referred to as industrial democracy, has received only rudimentary attention and only in company law.
- Status gave rather early attention to the protection of certain categories of employees. Every human society and culture creates some kind of labour relations system or
system of relations between (on the one hand) the people who head the organizations and direct the activities which provide goods and services society needs and (on the other hand)
the people who do the work. Historians have described various forms of these relations taken in different societies over the course of time, such as slave, the feudal and the capitalist system.
A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND ITS ROLE IN LABOUR RELATIONS IN NIGERIA