a  political-temporal analysis of trade disputes, work stoppages and human work-day losses (1970–2004)

Richard Ingwe, Julius A. Ada, Rose A. Adalikwu


Although famous for being sub-Saharan Africa’s and Africa’s most populous, one of the largest, and second largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria has for decades been confronted with the paradox of presenting gross poverty afflicting a  disproportionably large proportion of its population (70.2%–90.8%) recently. While the recurrent mantra has been that the monstrous poverty should be confronted with drastic measures before it engulfs the country, these so-called drastic measures including their theoretical and academic unraveling are yet to be adequately undertaken. The factors responsible for the escalation of poverty such as low productivity, poor industrial relations, and worldwide leadership in perpetration of corruption, among others have been largely ignored, underplayed and misunderstood. This paper examines the dismal state of industrial relations in Nigeria. The method of temporal analysis was employed to show the historical exhibition of “trade disputes, work stoppages”, workers involvement in trade disputes and loss of human work-days over a  34 year period (1970–2004). The findings were that: the highest number of workers involvement in industrial action in Nigeria was 2,874,721 people in 1982 while the lowest was 9,494 in 1998. Human work-day losses were high in 1982 (9,652,400 days) and least (27,072 days) in 1970. The highest number of work stoppages (755) occurred in 1979 while the least (11) occurred in 1998. The era of military dictatorship witnessing higher work stoppages occurred. It is argued that the Obasanjo dictatorship attitude spilled over into the Fourth Republic (1999–2007) when a  large proportion of work stoppages occurred. The implication of this finding for policy is that the need to build democratic attitude institutions and processes for strengthening harmonious industrial relations is urgent and imperative in Nigeria.


trade disputes; Nigeria; work stoppages; dictatorship; work-losses

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/h.2013.47.2.73
Data publikacji: 2015-07-23 22:35:25
Data złożenia artykułu: 2015-07-19 16:52:35


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