Restricted Collective Bargaining and Wage-Related Industrial Unrest in the Public Service: The Nigerian Case
- Collective bargaining, Wage, Wage commission, Industrial unrest, Public service, Government.
How to Cite
Collective bargaining has been regarded as the best method for determining wages and other employment conditions of workers. Unfortunately, the collective bargaining machinery is not well-established and entrenched in the public service in Nigeria. As a result, it is rarely employed as an instrument of wage determination and other working conditions. The government prefers to use direct intervention through wage commissions, semi-judicial tribunals, and wage committees or even government proclamations and pronouncements for fixing wages and other conditions of employment for its employees in the public service instead of collective bargaining. This situation has largely been blamed for the incessant wage-related industrial unrest in the public service in Nigeria that manifests mainly in the form of strike actions. All the aforementioned methods do not give workers room to freely negotiate their employment conditions through their representatives. This explains why recommendations of wage commissions and government pronouncements over wages and other conditions of employment are usually greeted with protests and widespread agitations by workers in the public service. The paper therefore contends that the limited use of collective bargaining machinery for the determination of wages and other conditions of work of employees influences the frequent wage-related industrial unrest in the public service in Nigeria and unless the collective bargaining machinery is deeply entrenched and frequently used for wage determination and settling other employment conditions it would difficult to maintain industrial peace and harmony.