COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND THE WELFARE OF WORKERS IN OIL PRODUCING COMPANIES IN NIGERIA A CASE STUDY OF EXXON MOBIL IBENO AKWA IBOM STATE
The dictionary explains, collective bargaining as, collective of a group or society of person, ration etc, as a whole. While, bargaining is in industry, agreement between management and labour over wage, hours of works etc.
Collective bargaining can also be seen as a group of persons (workers) as a whole who enters into agreement with the management. over the issue of wages hours, working conditions, termination procedure, promotion, transport allowance and housing allowance that may affect workers.
Collective bargaining can also be defined as negotiations about working conditions and terms of employment between an employer or group of employer’s in an organization. with the view to reaching agreement.
But before a worker’s organization is accepted as a party to collective bargaining in Nigeria. It must be registered as trade union for the category of workers whose working conditions are being considered (Ajuogu, 1999).
It is not in the best interest of employers to negotiate with each employee in conditions that govern the working conditions of employee in the work situation rather the practice is that once a trade union is registered with the management and the union will then bargain collectively in everything relating to wages, hour of work, resignation and such other matters concerning the employee.
It is necessary to point out that, with collective bargaining, management and union arrive to agreement, which will govern both the present and future workers.
So to say, collective bargaining therefore is the willingness of employers to terms and conditions of employment by negotiation with trade union.
(Ajuogu, 1999) point on participative management.
Worker’s participation in the management in private and public sector organization may be seen in number of perspectives which according to walker, F.K, industrial relation and wider society and Ajougu M.O in Analytical model managerial practice include:
PROMOTION OF WORKERS INTEREST
Looking at worker’s participation in management from this view point, union leaders stress the need for any form of participation in management to pressure the union’s bargaining power and freedom to press its member’s interest.
The danger of split allegiance has been emphasized, but research indicates that the majority of workers maintain a dual allegiance support of the union is not inconsistent with a favourable attitude to the company and its management, but neither of the positive attitude, prevents workers from criticizing specific features of either company or union.
DEMOCRACY WITHIN THE ENTERPRISE
Transformist concept of industrial democracy view the workers as a political agent, with interest participation in management, which may be seen as a way of overcoming the contradiction between democracy outside and within the enterprise.
The concept of workers participation as a contribution to democracy within the enterprise differs in two important ways; from the view of it a means of protecting and advancing of interests of workers.
The democratic, which raises, among other issues the question of internal union democracy. The second important difference is that the interest of each individual and group can find expression through an appropriate firm of worker participation (Ajougu, 1999).
The oil industry is presently the major in come earner other than central government.
It is one of the few large Nigeria industries, which produces, one experiences perfect completion.
The firms are numerous entering into the industry, particularly for small marketers, and producers is relatively easy, or individual firms produces enough crude oil to influence prices since price are set, not by the Nigerian Government, but by the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of which Nigeria is prominent member with a daily production of 1,868.000 barrels, with Exxon Mobile Nigeria, Producing 389 thousand barrels of condense Oil, and in thousand which is not controlled by OPEC, so the company has to source for buyers and decide price) per day.
In the industry, the bulk of the employees have belief in their union leaders and little or no interest in active participation is shown in union activities.
This is simply because their remuneration is relatively high when compared to other industries.
Hence, the Orthodox view of collective bargaining has long assured the employees that the union can apply and legitimately represent the demands and genuine needs of their members, and at the same time fulfill responsibilities to management and the community.
Mobil producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) is Nigeria second largest Oil producer after shell.
It started business in the country in 1955. Mobile exploration Nigeria incorporated, or MENL in December, 1981 after unsuccessful exploration efforts in the former western and northern region, MENL were granted two offshore oil producing license (OPLs) in the then southern eastern state.
In early 1964, MENL made it first discovering called “Atai” the prospecting license were converted to four Oil mining license in 1968, and by the end of the year, a total of fifty (50) exploratory wells had been drilled.
On June 16, 1968, MENL became Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) and began production of crude oil on February 15, 1970 in the Offshore areas of South eastern state now Akwa Ibom State.
In 1973, the Federal Government of Nigeria, acquired a join venture.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government interest rose to 55% in 1974 and became 60% in 1979.
The Nigeria National petroleum Corporation (NNPC) holds and represents government interest in the join venture at a ratio of 40% (Mobil) to 60% Federal Government.
This is called joint venture participation.
In February, 1985, MPN hit the one Billion Barrel production Mark.
In 1989, MPN became the Corporate body to receive the Energy Press Award by the national Energy Correspondence.
The Awards was for MPN’s contribution to the growth of energy journalism in Nigeria.
MPN/NNPC has been the sponsor of an exhibition on the “treasure of Ancient Nigeria”; in the United State, Canada.
The United Kingdom and in Lagos, as part of the activities marking Nigeria’s 25 independence anniversary in 1985.
In 1988-1989, it sponsored the Film “Uduak”; the first musical documentary on a Nigeria leading Lady Singer.
In its area of Operation, the Akwa Ibom State MPN/NNPC has given assistance that is with the Company’s Policy to make positive contribution to the social and economic life of its neighbor as responsible corporate citizen.
Among such contribution is the provision of pipe-borne water and the electrification of their Ibeno Village which adjoin MPN’s Qua Iboe Terminal. MPN has also electrified Eket town, Mobil Producing Nigeria, with the parent company in the United States of America has kept to the rules guiding collective bargaining in this country as a member of Nigeria employees Constitution Association (NECA) and wishes of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Labour.