Environmental Impact on Industrial Relations’ Practice in Ebonyi State: A Study of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ebonyi State Branch (2007-2014) (Published)
The impact of environmental factors such political, economic, bureaucracy and ideology on industrial relations in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. These factors in one or the other have in the past and at present shaped the relationship between the labour and the government, influenced socio-economic development, and overall productivity of the productive sectors. Poor industrial relations between the Nigeria Labour congress and the Ebonyi state government was responsible for the prevalent industrial conflicts that overwhelmed Ebonyi state between 2007-2014 which most often resulted in industrial actions, demonstrations and protests. The frosty relationship between labour and government under the period under review resulted in government intimidation of labour leaders, none payment of workers wage who embarked on strike, threat of retrenchment, and unnecessary transfer of workers from one duty post to another as a punitive measure. Upon the above, the thrust of this study is to objectively assess the environmental factors that impact on the industrial relations practice in Ebonyi state, a focus on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ebonyi State Branch (2007-2014). Therefore, the study was principally designed to identify the environmental factors that impacted on the labour relations in Ebonyi State between 2007 and 2014. To achieve this objective among others, the study proposed hypotheses whose outcome constitutes the findings of this study. The study also adopted qualitative design in which documentary method and content analysis were adopted for data collection and analysis respectively. The study similarly adopted Marx Class Struggle/Contradictions as the theoretical framework. Findings of the study reveal that industrial relations between Ebonyi state government and NLC between 2007-2014 was conflictual and discordant; that environmental factors such political, economic, bureaucracy and ideology shaped the industrial relations in the state; that the identified environmental factors negatively affected labour relations in Ebonyi State during the period under review. Based on the findings, the study recommended that government should improve on workers wage and conditions of service; that government should always involve labour in the initiation of policies before implementation; that government should eschew the use of intimidation, alienation and threat of force to labour to shift ground on their demands; that government should pay much attention to labour agitations, minimize her intervention in labour affairs.