WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES OF TRADE UNIONS. Definition of trade union: A trade union is an association of workers formed to enable the members to take collective, rather than individual, action against their employers in matters relating to their welfare and conditions of work.
They are formed by workers who seek protection and promotion of their interests.
Lists of trade union in Nigeria
Examples of trade unions are Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG),
National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Nigerian Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) and the bigger umbrella, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
What are the Objectives of trade unions?
- To secure good wages for members
- To participate in policy formulation of their respective organizations.
- To secure employment for those members who have no jobs.
- Trade unions also make it their responsibility to safeguard the interests of members.
- They also regulate the entry qualifications into the various professions.
Weapon that can be used by a trade union during a trade dispute
Trade unions can insist on achieving their objectives during trade dispute by using the following weapons or methods.
- Collective bargaining: In this method, representatives of the union and employers will meet to negotiate or deliberate on issues affecting the workers.
- Work to rule: This involves the slowing down of the rate of work by workers. They will come to work but the rate of work will be slowed down by the workers.
- Picket lines: This involves the workers staying at the entrance of the factory and refusing to work.
- Threat to strike: The workers’ union gives ultimatum to the employer that they will embark on strike if their demands are not met on time.
- Strike: The workers will stay away completely from work. This is the ultimate weapon.
Employers’ Association as a type of trade union
Employers’ association is formed to enable members to adopt a common policy in labour negotiations.
A good example of employers association is that of the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) formed in 1957.
While trade unions are usually interested in negotiations about wage increases and improving the working conditions of workers, employers’ associations are normally interested in discussing ways of increasing productivity.
Through collective bargaining on these matters, mutual agreements are reached by both the trade union and employers’ association.
Weapons that can be used by employers’ association during trade dispute
Employers’ association can insist on achieving their objectives in trade dispute by using the following weapons or methods.
- Collective bargaining: In this case both the employers’ association and the trade union representatives will meet to discuss the workers’ demand.
- Strike Breakers: In this method, the employer will use some workers to operate the plant during the period strike.
- Blacklist: All workers that participate in strike action can be dismissed.
- Lock-out: This involves the closing down of the factory by the employer until the dispute is resolved.