Diminishing and Disappointing Role of Trade Unions in the 21st Century: The Nigerian Experience

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Anyim, F.C
Ilesanmi, A.O
Alaribe, J
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Over the years, trade unions in Nigeria have evolved from formal to highly formal bureaucratic organizations. Although the relationship between individual members and unions still depends on a great deal upon the voluntary acceptance of the authority of the unions by the individual members, the unions are themselves structured partly as a response to the requirements of the law and also as a result of the push by rank and file members for real improvements in the performance of the union‘s leadership (Iyayi, 2000). The disappointing role of organized labour in Nigeria in the 21 st century coupled with their inability to safeguard the interest of their rank and file membership which they represent should be a matter of great concern to all labour observers, activists and practitioners alike. Trade unions in the 21st century are now like a double-edged sword protecting its members and dancing to the tuned of the employers and government at the same time. With these unwholesome practices of the unions, they are fast losing their value, integrity and trust of membership. With time and judging by the current trends unionism may likely become a thing of the past. This article attempts to examine the disappointing role of trade unions in Nigeria in the 21st century exposing their inability to safeguard the interest of their members which they claimed to represent. Having enjoyed a glorious past with strong dedication and commitment by its rank and file membership coupled with the support from the civil society, they evolved from formal to a very formidable movement with strong zeal and solidarity from individual members. However, they lost their main focus which is to maintain close ties with the civil society on struggles for workers‘ rights, welfare and interest. With unions‘ pseudo movement attitude and insincerity, members no longer believe in their ability to protect them in the struggle for their rights. Therefore, the paper in specific term examined the disappointing role of trade unions in employment practices and it adopted theoretical approaches in explaining both the positive and negative aspect of trade unionism in Nigeria in the current era.
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Labour Movement , Nigeria Labour Congress , Trade Union Congress and Working Masses , Civil Society Group
Anyim, F.C., Ilesanmi, A.O., & Alaribe, J. (2013), Diminishing and Disappointing Role of Trade Unions in the 21st Century: The Nigerian Experience. International Journal of Management Sciences, vol.1 (2).