Strike Problems in Nigeria

Strike Problems in Nigeria

Strike Problems in Nigeria – It is generally obvious and quite indisputable that strike has taken impact on the Nigeria Economy. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 4th edition defined strike as organised stopping of work by employees because of a disagreement (e.g., pay conditions etc).

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In June 22, 1945; that was when the first Nigeria Workers Nation wide strike took place and the first nationwide strike in Nigeria was led by Mr. Michael Imoudu in 1945.

No matter how small organization may look like, that must have set goals and targets. To meet the set goals and targets, organizations employ men and women with different ethnic, social and economic backgrounds and individual goals and targets in life. Most often individuals goals and targets tend to conflict with the organisation’s goal and targets. There is therefore bound to be conflict and quarrels among workers in an organization and between the workers and the management of the organization. The relationship between the Union of employees and employer is not industrial relation but could be referred to as labour relations.

Definition of Strike

Strike: Strike can be defined as a process by which an organisation organised stopping of work by employers because of some agreement on wages and salaries. A strike is also means to refuse to work as a protest: In another definition it means a period of time when an organised group of employees of a company stops working because of a disagreement over pay or conditions.

The General Strike of 1945

The General Strike of 1945 led by Mr. Michael Imoudu; the same economic crisis of the second world war resulted to a lot of militancy among the unions especially the blue-collar workers. This militancy of workers especially that adopted by the railway workers union led to a successful general strike in 1945. Shortly after this general strike (may be because of its success) there was a rapid spread of union activity which equally led to further spread and growth of unions.

Types of Strike

Nigeria’s experiences are explainable through identifying strike by types.

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(1)        Student and the Government: This is the process in which the Government with school management will like the government to increase there salaries and the government will refuse to grant there request and the school management will like to embark on strike but before then, they will give warning strike to see if the government will change there mind. But if the government refuse to change there mind, they will embark on strike and it will affect the student, school management and the government itself.

(2)    Emergency: is a sudden serious and dangerous event or situation which needs immediate action to deal with it. In this case if they government should grant emergency power or action, in any action, by for example not paying the worker there salaries this will lead to strike. It threaten serious crises.

(3)        Lockout and the employees: is a situation when an employer refuses to allow workers onto their place of work until they agree on various condition, but if they refuse on that condition they will like to embank an strike

(4)    Jurisdictional : is also among the types of strike we have, it is an authority that an official organization has to make legal decision about something and if the decision is not favorable it will cause strike to they workers

(5)    Constitutional or illegal :  is the process by which the country or organization will connect with the constitution if the constitution is favorable in the country, like in Nigeria  they pass a billed or constitution said that the leader will spent 12 year in the sit that is 3 tenure but the houses of Assembly rejected that billed.

(6)    Go –Slow: is a protest that workers make by doing their  work more slowly than usual, when they do that, and the management refuse to pay their salaries they will  protest and go on strike.

(7)    Sit – in : is a protest in which group of workers, students etc refuse to leave their school, factory etc until  people listen to their demands.

(8)    Boycott : it is a process which workers refuse to  take part in a something as a way of protesting.

(9)    Wildcat Strike happens suddenly and without the official support of a trade union.

(10) Sympathy: is the act of showing support for or approval of an idea, a causes, an organization etc e.g the doctors went on strike in sympathy with (i.e. to show their support for).

Causes of Strike

  1. Unfair treatment to the worker
  2. victimization
  3. Violation of legislation or rule
  4. Poor application of provisions of collective Bargaining
  5. Non-observation of condition of work
  6. Situation not governed by rules

Causes of Strike in Nigeria  

1. Area of education: it is a process in which the Government don’t pay the workers salary and these leads to strike e.g

In Anambra 2002, there was one year strike due  to the Government refused to pay their worker their salary and these led to one  year strike, where student do not go to school, worker do not go to work and this situation causes many harzard like: kidnapping, prostitution, robbery.

2. Labour radicalism received ideological fuelling: in nation wide, 11 January 2002 Fight fuel price – like. NLC must call a 48 hour general strike 1 No to liberalization and other anti-poor polices.

This latest increase  in the prices of petroleum products by the Obasanjo government has justifiably been received with opposition and Condemnation by most working people across Nigeria.

This  increment, announced at the peak of New year festivities,  saw the price of petrol increased from N22 to N26  per liter, diesel from N21 to N26 per liter and kerosene from N17 to N24 per liter and this led to strike in that year. And such happen on 1 January 2012 by the Good luck Government in his tenure . 

3. Inflation: The bogeyman of national economics, has galloped beyond wages so that salaries keep vanishing on pay –day, cost of living  allowance, agitated workers after world war II (Ananaba, 1969: 20ff). after many months or a year and the Government  did not pay the workers salaries, they will organised themselves and call for strike

4. Official deafness: some time it may cause by miscommunication the truth never reaches the decision on time, in some aspect if it get to their ears they would not say any thing and over look there worker

5. Hunger which is History’s messenger always tortured –working people many of the workers in the production process are themselves consumers who cannot possibly produce all that they need for existence. They must depend on the services of the others just as other workers depend on what they produce.

Effects of Strikes

1)  The effect of strike in our nation is that it pump fears into management labour relations. It choke productivity  in the country.

2)  The effect of strike in our nation is that any failed strike is like any winning one, it draws the federal government nearer into industrial relations.

3)  The effect is that some strike took place in order to press for the release of union traders arrested by polices, on issues over which management has no control, such as the delay by the federal ministry of labour in approving the collective bargaining agreement

4)  The effect is that the judiciary by its injunctions, administration in quires or interpretations, impacts on the working class.

5)  The effect is that it brought about poverty agony’s handshake, accompanies most strikes.

6)  The effect is that the post independence strike have introduced changes, now protected by law.

7)  The effect is that, the public policy grabs the driver’s eat and it role teaches  workers new wisdoms.

8)  It brings unionism in Nigeria and has favoued the man

Disadvantages of Strike  

(1)   It leads to Death: According to news watch march 7, 2001 vol.55 No -10 this is when doctors in many hospitals, around the country embark on strike over wages, thus causing a breakdown of medical services that have resulted in avoidable deaths of patients in that year.

(2)   It leads to discrimination among the workers and the government.

(3)   It leads to stoppage of school: According to Nationwide 2010. the vice Chancellor and lecturers went on strike over wages for about 7 months, were the student did not go to school to learn, and in this case many of them went into prostitution, robbery, kidnapping and many sought of evil activities.

(4)   Strike leads to NEPA failure in which the Government will refuse to increase there salaries of they workers and they will like to embark on strike. When they do that, there would not be light for some month it may lead to scarcity of water, and light.

(5)   It leads to lack of insecurity; in this case, when the Government refuse to pay they security men or increase there salaries. They security will embark on strike. When they do that many thing will start happening. It happened on the time of I G of police, Sunday Ehinduroh in which the Government increase there salaries.

(6)   Strikes may endanger: the nation when they uproot national institutions to profit the opposition, that at the expense of the state.

Strikes as a Problem

There are three conventional ways of measuring strike activity one is to count the number of strikes that occurred during the period under review. To qualify as a strike the stoppage must involve at least a certain number of people. The second method is to consider the number of workers directly involved in the work stoppage. Lastly, one could count the number of man – days lost because of strike action by workers directly involved in the dispute the relevant data for these measurement for Nigeria indicate that  between April and December 1975 there was 203 strikes involving 95823 workers and about 349, 718 man – day were lost due to strikes (Fashoyin 1980).

Ubeku (1983)  thinks that it is based on the principle that workers have a light to contract with their employers to wages and conditions of work and that the employer should recognize that right.

Method of Handling Strike Problems

(1)        In this kind of condition, it is good to set up a scheme for regular contact between management and workers i.e. hospital and Government, school and the Government etc. as a means of improving communication, salary, wags and productivity.

(2)        To meet the workers demands for better insight into the management of the organisation for which the work (Ubeku, 1983).

(3)        Joint consultation: This is a machinery set in motion to handle worker’s problem as a group. Yesufu (1984) sees it as all methods by which groups of workers and the relevant employees come together to attempt to reach agreement in matters under discussion through the process of negotiation on how to increase salaries or their wages.

(4)        Collective Bargaining as a process handling problems on strike is based on the simple fact that people who pursue an issue of common interest have the right to discuss and arrive at a decision on how to relate to each other. Ubeku (1983) thinks that it is based on the principle that workers have a right to contract with their employers to wages and conditions of work and that the employer should recognize that right.


C.P. Okenwa;  Concept of Industrial Relations in Nigeria strike

as a problem 1980

Newswatch; Deaths and Angwsh in Hospitals March 7, 2011

vol 55 No 10

Oxford Advanced learns 4th and 6th edition Dictionary

Definition of strike.
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  2. john papilo says

    When was the first time that general hospital embark on strike in nigeria?

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