Friday, December 19, 2008

Holla at NAOSWS members of TASUED

National Association Of Social Works Students, TASUED chapter

I want to give you guyz a big kudos for the great developmental activities that you embarked on especially the last ORIETATION PROGRAM you organise for the freshers.

I will want to include that i apreciate the recognition you guyz gave me during the program and i hope i can pay back in the same coin under the powerful administration of Mujaeed a.k.a solution,. i acknowledge the likes of Beef, Aderinsola, Collins and others. you guyz are grait especially the HOU Mr O. O. Balogun and Mr Omotayo.

The sky remains the limit for you guys.
Oludeyi Kunle Saheed.

Friday, December 12, 2008


When issues of labour legislations arise especially among students of Industrial Relations in Nigeria, our discussions are usually revolved around the seven principal laws. We have always pointed out some of the loopholes of these laws and agitate for a complete “Overhaul”. Again, we often discuss the absentionist policy of government that became interventionist policy with the outbreak of the civil war in 1968. Surely, these are important topics of discussions on Nigeria labour laws but we have failed to at some points look into the history of these seven principal laws. Few of us who take our time to discuss the history even do so by summing it up that because Nigeria was a colony of Britain, she had inherited some of these laws from the great Britain. This is actually true but let me say here that there is need for a rigorous examination of evolution of Nigeria labour laws as it might be useful in providing solutions to some of the inherent problems of Nigeria Industrial Relations especially in this dispensation of postindustrialisation where globalization threatens to fall things apart. An appraisal of the past compared with the present, no doubt will provide an insight into what the future can bring. This is why I have made effort to examine the Evolution of labour legislations in Nigeria so that possible and useful lessons can be learnt from some of the changes that have taken place so far.
If you like you may call it Historical Development of Nigerian Labour Laws, History of Labour Laws In Nigeria, or Growth of Labour laws in Nigeria. What ever it is, we will see some useful Hints here.
The word “Labour” is etymologically a derivative from Latin word “Laborren” which means “toil, pain, strength, exertion of the body”. Law on the other hand was coined out from a German word “Lagu” meaning “to put, lay”. It also related to a Latin word for statute which is “Statuere” meaning something lay down and forced.
From the foregoing, labour laws have been viewed as “the rules of human effort” it is a legal framework that guide the activities of human beings in their daily attempt at making ends meet. S. C Srivastava (2007) opined that labour laws seek to regulate the relations between an employer or a class of employers and their workmen. Labour laws are again used as an instrument by government to regulate and guide employment relations.
Although the 1938 trade union ordinance gained much recognition and thus, regarded as the landmark of labour laws in Nigeria, the antecedent to the advent of labour laws can be traced to 1880s. E. E Uvieghana (2001) pointed out that the legislation then was called “workers chapter” extracted from the “master and servant ordinance for the gold coast”. It has its long little as “an ordinance for the regulation of the relations between employers and employees”. This master and servant ordinance was amended in 1885 and in 1900 after the creation of the Southern and Northern protectorates. Similar ordinance was made for each of the protectorate. After the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates in 1914, the ordinance was made for the whole country in 1917. The master and servant ordinance of 1917 was re-amended in 1929 and were called “Labour Code Ordinance of 1929” (E. E. Uvieghana, 2001).
Although this ordinance (1929) has been argued against by several scholars as not indigenous because it was the colonial master who promulgated it for their selfish interest of exploitation.
Prior to 1938 there were few workers in wages employment in Nigeria because the natives then preferred agricultural work as it offered more incentives and ensure for freedom unlike factory works. Consequently there were few workers associations who also were not militant but formed for the professional and social well being of workers alone. Some of these unions then were NCSU formed in 1912 and NUT as well as RWU both formed in 1931. Government on the other hand was not contributing directly to the affairs of industrial relations. After the world war ended in 1914 and the cost of living arose dramatically. The workers could not bear the burden of inflation caused by the war. They started agitating against poor condition of work, example of such agitation was that which was led be veteran leader, Pa Michael Imodu who led 300 workers to government house in a protest against poor condition of work and came out successively. These agitations constituted much embarrassment to the employers and the then colonialist and thus, they promulgated the 1938 trade Union Ordinance which is now widely accepted as the landmark of labour laws in Nigeria. Their intension was to use this law as a way of regulating the affairs of these hitherto illegal unions. The law legalized trade unionism and provided that 5 members can form unions. It also provided that government could regulate the internal and external administration and affairs of these unions. This was the noted beginning of labour laws in Nigeria.
The role of government in the development of Nigerian labour laws is very significant as they have made several changes in these laws before and after Nigerian independence. After the 1938 ordinance, two ordinances were promulgated in 1941; the workmen compensation ordinance of 1941 was meant to make it imperative for employers to compensate any of his employees who sustain injuries in the course of his work. The law also stated the categories of those injured workers which may or may not be catered for. The second law in 1941 was the trade dispute ordinance of 1941 enacted for conflict resolution when the joint machinery for conflict resolution failed.
In 1945, labour code ordinance of 1929 was amended and was referred to as 1945 Labour Code Ordinance. In 1958 another two laws were introduced by government. One is the Factory ordinance chapter 66 enacted to ensure register his factory and provide security, safety and welfare for occupants (workers) in his factory premises. The second law in 1958 is Wages Board Ordinance of 1958 through which government intervene in the review of workers’ wages structure.
In July 29th 1966, General Yakubu Gowon (a military leader) through military coup took over the government of Aguiyi Ironsi (Sunday Olagunju, 2007). This military government promulgated several decrees. The first one is Trade disputes (emergency provision) decree, 1968 enacted for settlement of disputes in industrial set up. This decree was ineffective as there were still several industrial crises in Nigeria. Thus, the federal military government in the following year introduced another Trade dispute (emergence provision, amendment) decree, 1969. This was the decree that banned strike and look out, it provided that no employer should increase the salary of any worker without the approval of the military government.
Between 1970 and 1975, two great events took place in Nigeria, first was the civil war that ended in 1970 and the overthrow of Gowon’s administration in 1975.
The aftermath of the civil war had effect on workers salaries and affected their standard of living. The government then introduces Wages Board and Industrial council decree in 1973 to review the salary structure of workers. It was this decree that established the Wages Advisory Council. In the same 1973 another crucial law was promulgated called Trade Union Act 1973 which increased the number of members to form union from 5 to 50. It repeals the 1938 ordinance. It also banned workers under essential services from unionizing.
In 1974 the Labour Act no 21 was enacted to repeal and fill the loopholes of the 1929 Labour code ordinance. It serves to protect workers against employment exploitation by introducing such provision as terms and condition of work, contract of employment, holiday pay and leave allowances, medical facilities etc.
In 1976, Trade dispute (enquiry and arbitration) decree was promulgated which brought about the formal statutory procedure for conflict resolution by establishing Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) and National Industrial Court (NIC). In 1978, Trade union (amendment) decree, 1978 was introduced to enrich the pocket of trade union as it introduces check-off due system and also granted workers in essential services to unionize.
In 1981, Wages Board Act was promulgated.
In 1986, Trade Union (miscellaneous provision) was introduced and amended in 1989.
In 1987, both the Factory Act and the Workmen’s Compensation Act were also amended.
In 1991, the National Minimum Wage Act was introduced. It prescribed a statutory minimum rate of pay to workers.
In 1996, the military government introduced four decrees which are decree no. 4, 24, 26, and 29.
Finally in 2005, the National Assembly under the leadership of Adolphus Wabara and assented to by the President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 30th march 2005 introduced another law; the Trade union (amendment) Act cap 437 Law of Federation of Nigeria 2005. This act has several shortcomings inimical to the welfare of workers in the federation. This is why scholars have regarded the law as a “controversial law” of labour relations.
The reach of these laws are so wide that they touch the lives of millions of men and women who constitute the labour force. A critical observation of the changes in the development of these laws shows that labour laws in Nigeria are outdated and fast becoming irrelevant. They have created obstacles in achieving fair labour practices which is important to ensure “Decent work” that ILO preaches. Some of these laws cannot provide the targeted solution to achieving harmonious employment relations as one of the prerequisites for national development especially with the new challenges posted by the emergence of globalization, liberalization and privatization as well as this present era where industrialization is gradually transforming to postindustrialisation with the pervasiveness of computer application in industrial activities. There is therefore the urgent need for the Nigerian government to set up a commission that will reform labour laws to a complete overhaul. This is necessary and one of the strategic procedure that government should embark upon if truly the vision 20-20 of President Sheu Musa Yar’Adua will be achieved.

Oludeyi Olukunle Saheed

Monday, December 1, 2008


Nigerian today, Optimism has been a defining trait of culture; we tend to think life gets better or will soon get better because of the current trend of improvement and technological advancement. Surely, there are some good reasons to think this way. But we need to stop and rethink; we should endeavor to differentiate between Optimism, Pessimism and Reality. This is because in recent years our historic optimism may decline if prompt action is not made to maintain it.
One recent national survey found 67 percent of U.S adults agreeing that, for the average person, life is getting worse not better (30% disagree and 3% offered no opinion, NORC, 2003) I am positive and pretty sure that 90% of Nigerians will agree that life is getting worse too. Surely the rough economic times have played a major part in this rising pessimism. The news has been full stories of Corporate CEOs booting companies and forcing them into bankruptcy, throwing people out of work and often dissolving their pensions as well. The aim of this article is to appraise industrialization as it is on its way to postindustrialisation and claim the need for REFORMS towards a complete overhaul.

Postindustrialisation Age is a period of time beyond industrial revolution era. It is a period of time where productive technology is supported with the use of Computers on information-based economy. High increase in the rate of specialization which is common with industrialization will decline in postindustrial era and persistence of social inequality with information processes and other work will gradually replace industrial production. (J. J. Maccons, 2006)

This new industrial paradigm, the 'post-industrial' society, was originally an original work of Daniel Bell, in the 1950s (Webster, 1995). The construction is characterized by a move away form the industrial, manufacturing markets of old, and instead a reliance on service driven, information-based industries. A post-industrial society is "based on services... what counts is not raw muscle power or energy, but information" (Bell, 1973). This means that human phisical effort will decline and as the focus of transactions and commerce transitioned from manufactured goods to informational flow, so too did the accompanying power structures change. No longer was power simply in the control or ownership of the means of production, but rather in the control of systemic knowledge and information (Barney, 2004, p.6). Labor therefore is divided into physical labour(use of muscle power) and informational labour (use of intellectual power). A new economic sector is thereby identified, the Information Sector, which amalgamates information-related labour activities.
In 1976, Bell declared that "the post-industrial society is an Information Society"He further stated that a post-industrial society is not just the shift from tangible property and goods to knowledge as a commodity, but "the character of knowledge itself". Indeed in his later works, Bell used the words 'post-industrial society' and 'information society' interchangeably. Let me quickly say that what is interesting about this postindustrialism is that early post-industrialist theories were infused with optimism (barney, 2004). Academics, including Bell, saw the new social structure as having the potential to overcome the unjust, unbalanced and degrading aspects of industrialism (Bell, 1973, p.168).
The advent of post-industrialism was envisaged as establishing "a more educated, leisured and engaged citizenry, a levelling of economic inequality, a thriving global economy, scientific advance immune to ideology, and rational management of public affairs" (Barney, 2004,). This however will only be ascertained if all stakeholders could endeavior to change our orientations towards achieving all the benefits promised by postindustrialism. This means that for an economy to sustain or survive in this present modern world, immediate effort should be made to avert a severe social crisis that may arise as a result of modernity. It should therefore make sense for governments of African Countries to strategies ways through which industrial reforms can be ascertained and maintain in industries.
Although, modern society may give us more things but people are now working harder than ever to hold onto them and are less sure that the hard work they do is even a ticket to happiness. This is because as the economic scandal of the last few years suggest, our cultural individualism seems to have dissolved into pure selfishness in industrial organization. This is why it is not surprising that pessimism is on the high rate. The evidence is mixed; life is getting better in some ways and in other ways life is getting worse. Lenski (2007) explains that it is easy to equate “high tech” with “progress” and to expect technological discoveries to keep making life better but history shows us that advancing technology may offer real advantage but it is no guarantee of a better life. This is neither an optimism nor it is a pessimism but a reality.

Great thinkers among the social scientists have provided a lucid explanation of the modern world today. Extrapolating from their thoughts and theories on what they call modernity to industrial relations create a new way of thinking and a more radical ideologies as well as enlightenment. Resulting from such enlightenment is the exigency of reformation in industrial relations where radical change and improvement will be made regarding the working lives of social partners in industrial organizations.
Cited in J. Ritzer (2008), Mestrovic (1998:2) has labeled Anthony Giddens “the high priest of modernity”. This is because of the dexterities with which Giddens theories about modernity. He used such terms as “radical”, “high” or “late” modernity to describe society today and to indicate that the society of those days continues in its modernity till the emergence of another more radical or high modernity. Giddens sees modernity today as a “juggernaut” which to some extent is out of control (J. Ritzer 2008). His intenssion is to note that traditionally, society to some extents was under the control of man but the more radical modern society of today is out of man's control. This is envident in the current trend of globalization today where activities in industrial organization that was managed among people in organizations now tend to loom larger and attain some level of independence of its own and thus dictate the pace for the industrial actors. Managers in industrial organization for example now depend on global financial and market forces before embarking on any activity.
Ulrich Beck (1992, 2005) also contends that whereas, the classical stage of modernity was associated with industrial society, the emerging new modernity is best described as a
“risk society”
Thus a new way of thinking among industrial actors and the entire society should be fostered and such thinking should become the creation of dichotomy between the classical modernity and the emerging modern or radical mordenity(postindustrialism). While the central dilemma during industrialization was the creation of wealth and how it ought to be distributed, the central problem in modern industrialism should now be the prevention, minimization and channeling of “Risks” in industrial organizations.
A good example of such risk is the risk of increase in the number of men and women becoming unemployed estimated to be 2 million (rising unemployment from 190 million in 2007 to 210 million in late 2009) as a result of the current “Global financial crisis It is pertinent to mention here that Globalization is a manifestation of high modernity. The director General of the International Labour Organization [ILO] Juan somavia in October,2008, made this prediction that the Global financial crisis could increase world unemployment by an estimated 20million women and men [Nigeria Tribune, Wednesday 22, October, 2008). The ILO estimate is based on the revised global growth estimate by the IMF, the UN and early reports suggesting rising job losses from most countries where data was available. This is a global phenomenon that depicts the reflexions of what Giddens and Ulrich termed juggernaut” and “risk society” respectively.
Reacting to the above submission it is expedient to follow Jurgen Harbamas’(1981,1987) perception of modernity as a “unfinished project” i.e. the central issue in modern world continues as it was in Weber’s days of rationalism. The Utopia goal is the maximization of the rationality of both the “Industrial System” and the “life world” (Ritzer, 2008).
Talking on rationality from Weber’s perspective, we may say that as modernity of the days of rationality is increasing to hyper-modernity, people around the world should strive to improve their rationality to hyper-rationality in other to on one hand explore, achieve and enjoy all the goodies that the modern industrialization brings and on the other hand, avert all the possible menace associated with the modern industrialism. I think our hyper-rationality in African Countries therefore is to recognize the fact that the state of industrial relations especially in developing countries like Nigeria may not meet up with the challenges posted by modern industrialism. Having recognized these facts, then necessary reforms in all aspect of industrial relations should be the nest task ahead for government.
Among the numerous aspects which call for immediate reforms are viz;
- The state control of industrial relations
- Wages system reforms
- Redefinition of redundancy
- Reinstallation of industrial democracy
- Reformation in the aspect of collective bargaining
- Trade union reorientation
- Employment contract modification (legal & psychological)
- Restandardization of dispute resolution
- Restandardization of ergonomics
- Readjustment of compensation system
- Reenactment of employment laws and enforcement
- Pension and pension scheme reforms.
The list of these areas where reformation and restructuring is needed is however inexhaustible.

The point here conclusively is that technological advancement certainly changed society but innovation of this kind is no solution to many problems associated with it. Evidence suggests that new technology makes some problems worse, forcing us to work even harder than normal. Yet the technological advancement is transforming to a higher or radical advancement. This transformation then post many advance treats to the social partners in industrial organization as well as the larger society. It therefore becomes imperative for people of the world to change our orientations and our ideologies in a more radical way and create a platform for reformation of all kinds in the world of work and the larger society. It is only by so doing that the task of building a satisfying and just industrial organization can be achieved as one of the prerequisites for meeting up with the post industrialism and its consequents.
Oludeyi Olukunle Saheed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Waking up this morning,
I looked back at the history of my life.
I saw the messes I had made in my life
In spite of all my gift of wisdom, skill and intelligence.
I began to wonder how I had accumulated these messes.
Well, in everybody’s life, there are lots of messes he makes himself.
Is there anybody who has never regretted having done something?
I look back at my past and I am terrified;
I feel lonely and horrified by the thought that
What I am doing presently
Or about to do now could still be another expression of my folly
But what is there to celebrate is that,
I have also recorded plenty of achievement on the way.
I will rather celebrate my wisdom.
And let my dead folly rest in peace.
While I live in peace.

Monday, November 10, 2008


The process of social change whereby a human group is transformed from pre-industrial society into an industrial one is what is known as INDUSTRILISATION. It is also a process of wider modernization where social change and economic development and advancement of large scale energy and metallurgy productions. This technological advancement has played a substantial role in the making as well as in the marring of social welfare among human groupings. This is to say that the mechanization of work activities as well the contemporary state of globalization has effects on people especially in the world of work. These effects are however detrimental as well as beneficial to social partners in the industrial organizations. It appears therefore that as technological innovations and inventions advances, social welfare of people at work also improves.
A critical look into the above submission and the contemporary interrelationship between the social partners-the workforce and managers- in the world of work shows that it is only one group that is improving in terms of social welfare. This is not to say that the other group’s social welfare is not improving but the claim made here is that “the improvement of social welfare of one group is increasing at an increasing rate while that of other group is increasing at a decreasing rate”. This therefore shows that some groups of people in that world of work are vulnerable and need effective social services that will enable them survive as individual and to function appropriately in industrial societies. It is needless to say here that the vulnerable groups are workers. This therefore brings about the urgent need of social workers in industrial organizations to help the working group realize their full potentials which is the main focus of this article.

Prior to the year 2000, it was widely accepted that social work could be defined as an organized work intended to advance the Social conditions of a community and especially of the disadvantage groups by providing psychological counseling, guidance and assistance in form of social services (on line dictionary of social work 1993). This means that social work is a professional activity of helping individual, groups and communities enhance and restore their capacity for social functioning and creation of social conditions favorable for all compatriots. Bit following the outcome of the general meeting of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) on the issue of social work definition held in July, 2000 in Montereal, Canada, it was concluded a new definition of social work will replace the old one while understanding that the profession (social work) in the 21st century is dynamic and evolving, thus no definition should be viewed as exhaustive.
While describing social work, it was construed as “a profession that promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships utilizing theories of human behaviors and social systems. Social work intervenes at the point where people interact with there environment” summing it up, I will submit that social work is a profession which involved the provision of NEED to the NEEDY, it now depends on individual definition of NEED as well as the NEEDY.

The IFSN has also submitted that there is no clear boundary of social work practices among human groupings and in the larger society. This is because Human Right and Social Justice serve as the motivation and justification for social work actions. From this point of view, it can be accepted that the role of social workers in Industrial Organization is not only needed but also justifiable. In addition, a close look into the current trend in the attitudinal behaviour of Human Resources Managers (HRS) of today shows that there is urgent need for social services in industrial organization. The role of Human Resource Managers (HRM) is to effectively manage the human component of the organization and help the individual workers personalities in terms of knowledge. Skill, welfare, safety and other right as well as psychological benefits of these working groups. This is due to improve their (workers) performance on the job which in turn will enhance the speedy achievement of organizational goals and objectives. (Bankole Akanji, 2000).
Unfortunately, reverse is the case in Industrial Organizations of today. Social partners now perceive HRMs as members of management staff of every organization who undoubtedly will often promote and protect the interests of the employers at the expense of workers interests. Because of these, it therefore becomes so glaring that if not for the growing pervasiveness of Trade Unionism, workers will be living like strangers in the land of theirs. They will have nowhere to resort to for immunities in checking the excesses of employers. It is pertinent to note at this juncture that some organizations are yet to allow or register trade unions. This means that workers in such organizations will be living in penury.
If it is the truth therefore that social justice and human right provides basis for social work practices to be limitless, then professionals, and practitioners alike in the field (social work) are needed for emancipation of workers in the world of work. It thus, becomes a point of interest to identify among others the areas where social workers will be helpful to the working group in Industrial Organizations. These are listed below:
- Ergonomics
- Education and training
- Incapacities at work
- Young person employment
- Casualisation (among others)
Few of these shall be explained in this article;

- ERGONOMICS: This is a design of work environment in such a way to improve people’s working condition and to help them to work more efficiently by removing all sorts of industrial hazards and create a stress free factory environment. Nigeria Industrial Relations is characterized with some constraint among which occupational health and safety is one.
It has therefore been argued by several scholars and writers that the state of ergonomics in Nigeria industries needs serious improvement. It seems that the Factory Acts which was enacted to meet up with the essential need for the provision of health, safety and welfare for workers so that their safety will not be put in jeopardy (Adewunmi 1998) has not really been observed by employers. Second, the factories inspectorate who are responsible for the enforcement, the Factory Acts in the world of work are short facilities to effectively do this. Also among the problems relating to ergonomics is that the punishment provided by the Act is not adequate enough to ensure that erring employers comply (Ranti Samuel 2008). Thus, it becomes a point duty for social workers to intervene in this menace, explore their expertise and to recognize complexity of interaction between human beings and their working environment and the capacity of people to be affected by this relationship especially in terms of hazards. To alter the multiple influences upon them including bio-psychological factors which will help reduce workers vulnerability in the work place.
- EDUCATION AND TRAINING: It will be wise to explain this phenomenon from the “Peter Principle”, an organizational theory whose claim is that “workers have the tendencies of attaining their level of in competency in the work place: (Mullins, 2005). The tenet of this theory is that an employee when performing effectively will be promoted to another upper cader where the level of intelligence and performance needed is higher than that of his previous position. On getting to his new position, his level of competency will reduce base on the feet that it is his position that was upgraded while his knowledge and skills were not improved to meet up with the challenges of the new positions. Such worker may still be fortunate to get promoted to another higher level where more skills, knowledge as well as more responsibility are required. At this third position, the Peter Principle claims that he must have attained his level of in competencies (Mullins 2005). This therefore may lead to workers being declared as redundant. As such it becomes important for a periodic educational program, seminar, workshop etc. organized for workers to keep them informed on various aspects as may be needed to uplift their position in the world of work. Though this Educational function is a function of Trade Union, social workers can also join in the movement for keeping workers informed so that their intelligence as well as technological know-how will be improve and his will help boost the ego of the organization as well as improving the living standard of these working groups.
- INCAPACITY IN WORK PLACES: Workers in their daily integration with machineries and other industrial resources such as chemicals are exposed to certain hazards which may render workers permanently or partially incapacitated. The workmen Compensation Act has specified some ways through which injured workers can be compensated for injuries sustained. The provisions of the act regarding compensation compared to the value of humanity are insufficient, for instance, a workman whose hands or legs were amputated as a result of the injuries sustained in he process of work may be given a whole sum of amount as compensation. Undoubtedly, we all know that such money may not be enough to feed him for the rest of his life. Apart from this, the act has not provided for compensation as regards other psychological trainer that such victim may be going through. This therefore becomes a duty for industrial social workers to help the working group a normal and fulfilled life after such injuries.
- CASUALISATION: This is also an unfair labour practice that trade union in collaboration with social worker, human right activists and government should take time to address all related barriers, inequalities and injustices that exist in industrial society. This will help the disadvantaged group in industrial organization and it will also bring about industrial peace and harmony which serves as one of the prerequisites for national development.
- YOUNG PERSON EMPLOYMENT: The Labour Act of 1974 has addressed the issue of young person employment in such a way that they (children) will not involve themselves in carrying heavy load as their duty or work in a environment inimical to their health moral, psychological and physical development. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has also pointed out in their convention on “Core Labour Standard” that there should be an effective abolition of child labour in all forms. It therefore seems that these are responsibilities that involve the help hand of social workers to ensure that this dream is realized. This is because it is not very hard to find out in the cities of Nigeria some very young Nigerians who works in a way that may affect them in future especially those that hawks in the high ways. Researches have shown that this is due to the effect of poverty among Nigerians. This is another point where social workers should come in to help people enrich their lives and prevent them from dysfunctioning. Social Workers have been described several times as change agents in the society and in the lives of individuals, families and community they serve, thus they should extend this practices of change to industrial organization.

In summary, the current trend of globalization, transplanetry, industrialization, commercialization, urbanization and the continuous invention as well as advancement of technology has created a scenario in industrial organization that is completely different from the scenario prior to industrial revolution. Thus, new ways and practices should be applied into this current industrial organizational scenario so as to create for and avenue where the interrelationship between the social partners will be free of all forms of arbitrariness, injustices, slavery and inequalities in Nigeria industrial Societies. Social work as a profession that strives to alleviate poverty and liberate vulnerable and oppressed people in order to promote social inclusion is unavoidably important in industries.

Oludeyi Olukunle Saheed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


When we came to this new village,
We were strangers with plenty of scores to settle.
We could not live in isolation.
We then formed and became a rainbow family.
This is one score we first settled.

The family we created was unique.
It was envied by many others in this village.
I became the head of the family.
And I made you a decision maker in the family.
People detested you and question your membership.

“He is illegitimate and a misfit,
He is originally from a military family,
He is a deviant.
He should be excommunicated from our noble family.
If not, he will bring havoc”

These are the claims of your siblings.
Our neighbours claimed such.
But I premeditatedly turned my deaf ear.
I prevented you and your siblings from all odds.
This is the way I settled this score.

You came home one day and met small meal.
Your siblings had eaten much and you became furious.
You stormed our home with fire and set it ablaze.
You and the soldiers from your military family came to me.
You pointed the accused finger at me.
You made me suffer the cause with pain.
You bitted your feeder’s finger.
You settle this score in your own ways.

But there are still more scores to settle.
As an exemplary head of this family,
I won’t hit nor scold you.
I will rather teach you lesson.
The lessons of wisdom which supercedes power.

I will then embrace you, hug you and kiss you on your forehead.
I will give you another meal and reconstruct our home.
I will do this because very soon,
When the ships are down,
There shall be more scores to settle
But settle in my own ways.
From the September 14th incidence. KLATZ.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


As a result of industrialization, commercialization, and the quest for national development, economic growth and stability in Nigeria, one cannot talk about the corrent trend of labour relations without talking about the participatory role of government. Taking Nigeria as a typical example, government has had so much impact in the contemporary Nigeria labour relations and this is why it is difficult to differentiate labour relations from industrial relations among students of ILR. The role of government traditionally was to act like “unbiased umpire” between the employer and employees through its various agencies so as to insure peace and harmony in industries. Government therefore formulates laws, sets up commission such as the Adebo and Udoji Commissions and establishes boards like Wages Advisory Council and Productivity Price and Income Board (PPIB).
The participatory roles of government show that it has the most powerful instrument that influences and determines the scenario in labour relations. After several research and studies, Kehinde Kestler (2006) opined that the area of interest of government in labour relations is “wages fixation” which takes place through its various commissions, Wages Board and Wages Acts. Under normal circumstances-normal labour relations, the fixing of wages should be a collective agreement (which springs out from collective bargaining and negotiation) between employer and employee. This therefore becomes the new dimension of labour relations where preponderant activities in labour relations is almost taking over by the government. Abudu (1987) contends that government’s participation has become a political pressure that has eroded the principle of Collective Bargaining in industries.
Scholars have also identified another disheartening aspect of government’s role in labour relations which I view as paving ways to complete “employment discrimination”. Uvieghara (1985) pointed out the selfish interest of government in wages fixation. The national minimum wage act was enacted by government for fixing certain new minimum wage. But, it was also outlined in the act some workers who will not benefit from such new minimum wage as:
- Establishment with less than 50 workers
- Persons employ on part-time basis or those who work for less than 40 hours a week.
- Workers base on commission i.e. piece-rate earners
- Workers on seasonal employment such as agricultural (Uvreghara 1985).
The above is no doubt a complete negation to International Labour Organisation (ILO) standard of “core labour standard”. It is a complete occupational discrimination whereas ILO core labour standard states that “there should be no discrimination of any kind in matters of employment or occupation”.
In addition to the above, a good example is in Nigeria where federal government salary was increased by 45% in 1993. The state government detested this and it led to strikes throughout the 30 states in the federation. In 1998, under the military administration of General Abubakar, the increase in salary to N 3,000 naira also witnessed the usual resentment from state which resulted in incessant strikes across the country. Also, during Obasanjo government, the salary structure was reviewed through the parliamentary act. It was increased to N 7500 and N6500 for workers in federal level and state level respectively. This thus becomes the area of government interest in labour relations. Various scholars have therefore seen this as a negation of the “principle of voluntarism” as claimed by the government.
On the final note, it will be inappropriately incomplete if I fail to include that government participation is under pretence of ensuring for peace, harmony, tranquility and orderliness, it has been discovered by scholars and silent observers that the roles of government in the Nigeria labour relations has brought about constraint to achieving “Harmony” in industries. Some of the consequences of government excessive participation in labour relations are identified below:
- High rate of industrial unrest
- High wave of labour retrenchment
- Non-compliance with the provisions of national minimum wage rate act in the public sector
- Loss of man hour
- Low standard of living
- Employment and occupational discrimination
- Unfavorable inequality and indecent work in Nigeria industrial relation
The simple solution to the above scenario is that government should endeavor to maintain the principle of “absetionist policy”, restore the traditional labour relations. Government should also ensure a good and true practice of collective bargaining. Collective Bargaining should not only exist in theory but should be put into practices of its true sense. By so doing, labour relations will be a thing of peace and tranquility which government claimed that it is advocating for will be achieved in industrial organisations.

Oludeyi Olukunle Saheed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My White Didn't Stain His.

My white stained his white.
This is what he claimed and asked me for a fight.
But as far as i know, my white is very pure.
In fact very pure.

How can white stain white?
Can white be whiter than white?
If yes, which white is whiter?
And whose white is it?

As I was trying to solve this puzzle,
Then I met the wisest wise.
She was too wise to be helpful.
I met the best fool,
She was too foolish to be useful.

I added the wisdom of the wise to the folly of the fool,
I got nothing.
I added the nothing to my knowledge,
It became heavy to carry.

While struggling to carry it,
I fell into the mud and landed on my palms.
I stamped my muddied palm on my snowy shirt.
It became stained.

Then I realized I needed neither the wise nor the fool,
I needed neither to solve my puzzle.
So I struggled to drag the “nothing” back home.
I gave the wise back his wisdom.
And returned the fool’s folly

I need neither wisdom nor folly to know that whites don’t stain whites
Only stained whites do
If my white is pure,
Then his stain wasn’t from me.

Tell him to stop defaming me.
His political stain was his own made
ASILARS politics is not yet
A do or die affair.
So my white cannot stain his. (edited by KLATZ)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


In recent years, there have been controversies among students of Industrial Relations as to what the phrase “Labour Relations” stands for and what it connotes. The frequently asked question is weather it is an issue or matter between employer and employee alone or whether it is tripartite in nature. The answer to this question thus, necessitates the discourse in this write-up. The true meaning of labour relations is therefore addressed from both historical perspective and scholastic definitions of this phrase in the context of Industrial Relations
Labour as a factor of production is the key element in the productions of goods and services without which other factors cannot be put to use. Labour is therefore defined as the fondamental human input into the creation of utility. Hence, laborers are the people who engage in wage employment and sell their services in exchange for salaries for the purpose of making a living. Labour Relations on the other hand is defined by Fashoyin (1992) as “the day to day relationship between union members and managers in the work places with particular emphasis on implementation and enforcement of agreement” From his point of view, labour relations is all the activities that exist between employer and employee which are confined to particular industrial organizations living government excluded. The prime interest of labour relations therefore is the one which emphasizes the development of peaceful relations, mutual respect for each other and the development of concerted effort among workers to workers or workers to management to find solutions to problems affecting their working life towards better performances and working relationships.(Akinbode et al 2007) Labour Relations thus, becomes the particular relationship that exist on a daily basis between those who offer works to people and those who works are offered to. It is expedient to state here that traditionally, labour relations has been like this and has not changed yet. Although, it has moved towards a new dimension as a result of the incessant intervention of government which also has led to the present misconception of labour relations.
From historical perspective, labour relations has its antecedent during FEUDALISM when the “lords of manors” (also referred to as the nobles) owned the lands and provided work as well as security for the serfs – slaves. One cannot boldly say or claim that labour relations started during this era because the feudal societies were characterized with visible “forced labour”. Workers during this period were living and working under slavery. It was during the MEDIEVAL INDUSTRY that labour relations took its visible existence. This is because the main incentive to work during this era was to earn reward or some kind of payment in all the newly mechanised industries. This is unlike feudalism where it was master to slave relationships.
Also important in the above scenario is of the fact that during this period, government’s participation was not of note. Labor relations as at then was strictly between employer and employee.
From the foregoing, it can be deduced that the day to day activities of the two principal actors in industrial organizations is what is called “labour relations” hence if we construed labour relation to be a tripartite relation, then we are taking it to be tantamount to Industrial Relations whereas labour relations is only an important aspect of Industrial Relations. The two are not the same.
In the next article, the constraint to labour relations which brought about the misconception will be addressed. The article is titled "constraints to the Nigeria Labour Relations".

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Living in a beautifully well furnished aparment, i needed a spouse to assist me in domestics. This young beautiful girl appeared. I wanted her but she was relunctant. I spoke with her parent but they would not consent. My landlord and neighbours said i was too inferior to her standard. But my family memberstold me that she was a dream that can be achieved. To date this girl, i strived, scrambled, and bleeded as all hope was dying. I was perplexed and terrified. Suddenly, my eyes opend and i found her sleeping naked right on my chest and in the other side was our kid "it was all a dream" i did not believe i had already married to her.
Dear students of ILR, this is the situation that occured between us and ASILARS, When we found ourselves in this unique University and choose ILR, we felt the need to form an association that will help us take care of academic and social needs in this course of study. Then, it was all a dream that needed to be tranformed to rality. But to do this was difficult as every indications depicted impossibilties ( just as is my dream above) every situation seemed rough and tough. But today, after all frantic and anormouse efforts put forward by us as family, ASILARS is no more a dreabut a REALITY and she has within her short period recorded series of notable achievements thatare comparable to taht of her sister associationson Campus who havebeen in existence for years. I say to God be the glory.
Being the president of this great and vast growing association, it is myinterest to make acknoelegement of thos who participated in the strugle for ASILARS' establishment in TASUED. I therfore acknowlege the almighty God's intervention and thank him for blessing me with the charisma that i need. I acknowledge the likes of Mr. A.O Akinsanya, Mrs. S.A Ajede(the assciation adviser) Com. Adeeko Christopher who became a pilgrim in the strugle for the birth of ASILARS. AY CIRCLE (ASILARS honorable), Erinoso Micheal(Sociology) with his frantic and intellectual advices. Com. Agbe-davies and her group Com. Fatuga Enitan and the constitutional drafting commitee. The Electotal Officerswho ensured for smooth runnig of ASILARS election. Also all the 300 level students of ILR who contributed money for ASILARS registration. I will not forget to express my gratitude to the indefatiguable ASILARS EXCOS for their comitment. It will be unfair if i fail to acknowledge the participation of BJ and Elvis of sociology, GOD FATHER in social works. Oh my God! and the SQOOCHES BOYS, you all are great and i owe you a lot.
I want to quickly remind us all that we ILR students especially the present 300 level students have made a history of a life time. A history of legacy that will not defunct as long asa TASUED exists. And a legacy that will benefit all the up-coming students of ILR. I will not forget to inform you that the present EXCOS in ASILARS has been chracterised with "criticalness in thinking and reasoning" for the speedy and progreeive development of the association. Thus, we have had PLENTY in our book of programmes.
I wish us all an astonish success in our academic pursuit and pray that more of our dreams will tranform into realities in no time.

Thanking you.

KLATZ( June 2008)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Usually, African Countries are regarded and referred to as the second or third world countries-developing or underdeveloped countries, while Europe countries and Latin American are regarded as developed countries. Among other major criteria for identifying a developed or underdeveloped countries are the level of a country’s industrialization and commercialization, the technological know-how, level of literacy and her numeric strength-population.
However, these are not the only major prerequisite for national development, there are others which I may call the “intrinsic” factors while the listed above are “Extrinsic” factors. Intrinsic factors such as people’s interpersonal relationships also play vital role in nation building and sustainable development. Yet, concentrations have not been placed on them.
My intension here is to identify interpersonal relationship that exists within all organizations in a country as factors that stands as an important grease that lubricate the other factors identified above as extrinsic which are necessary for national development. As the microcosms of the larger nation, organizations comprise gregarious people who interact and interrelate on daily bases in an attempt at making a living. These people-usually referred to as Actors in industrial relations-thus put in place all their energy and effort both physical and mental to the success of Organizations. This becomes necessary because of the nature and structure of contemporary bureaucratic organizations and the interdependent of people within such organizations for the attainment of organizational objectives. The success of all organizations in a country leads to the success and development in such country and vice versa.

The above scenario may be extrapolated from “the system theory” of Professor John. T. Dunlop in 1958 who viewed the relations between these people (discussed above) as system and an analytical sub-system of an industrial society (Otobo 2005). A system and a sub-system of another system within which exist several sub-systems. The function of each sub-system in a system is interdependent and functioning system. What is extrapolated from this Dunlop’s claim is that the organizations or industries are important for a nation’s development. These Organizations provides basis for a country’s development and growth and may not themselves do this without the interdependent interaction among people who operate within such organizations. Dunlop refer to these people as actors in industrial relations who interact and interrelate on daily basis to see to the fact that organizational objectives are achieved and in turn get remunerations to cater for their needs and estate. These therefore defined the concept of EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS in this article. Employment relations thus, means the relationship that exists among different people of different background, race, sex, believes and interest who came together for socio-economic reasons in Organizations.

Allan Fox in his “Pluralist Theory” views organizations as made up of powerful and conflicting sub-groups with their own legitimate loyalties, objectives and leaders. These competing sub-groups inevitably induced, in part, by the very structure of the organization. The identified conflict as not necessarily a bad thing but can be an agent for evolution and internal and external changes (Mullins, 2005). It should be noted that before these changes occur in organizations, many valuables must have been destroyed. Thus the need to ensure in any country’s organizations peace and tranquility which is important for stability in any country and which will in turn ensure developmental activities in the country. This is why Professor Awoyemi said in an international conference “Human Right Enforcement in African Continent” held in Nigeria in October 6th to 7th 2008 that “where there is Justice, there is Peace, where there is Peace, growth and development takes place”. It therefore becomes imperative to ensure Harmony in all aspect of employment relationship so as to ensure that African countries are developed substantially. Employment relations in this context does not necessarily limited to Industrial Organization but to all other sub-systems of the nation such as; Employment relation in the Political System, Employment relation in the Religion Institutions, Employment relation in the Educational Institution, Employment relation in the Economic Sector, Employment relation in the Family Institution. These are the major areas where employment relations is pervasive and having concluded that Harmony in these employment relations is vital to a countries development, the question to ask thus, is how can this harmony be achieved in the world of work? This question is however answered in the below section.
Government of every country are having a superseding power over the actors-employers and their association and workers and their unions of industrial relations. Thus, the role of government in developing countries should be targeted towards the actualization of national development. Such Government therefore needs to strive to achieve peace, tranquility and orderliness in industrial setting. Some of the ways through which peace and harmony can be installed into every industrial society are therefore suggested below;
(1.) Industrial right to be reserved: Recognition and reservation of individual actor’s prerogatives without any arbitrariness is an important instrument for ascertaining that peace reign in industrial society.
(2.) Collective participation in decision making: In all organizations, in most African Countries, it is observed those workers are usually placed at the disadvantage position. They are usually sidelined in decision making, this also constitute grievances in industries as workers will remain antagonistic to this practice. Thus, it is imperative that the practice of equality and free collective or joint negotiation or participation in matters that affect their working life should be adopted in developing countries so as to avert conflict and disputes in industries.
(3.) A regulatory body should be set up against unfair labour practices: In Nigeria for example, a commission was set up against corruption by their formal President, President Olusegun Obasanjo who set up Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to regulate and sanction all corrupt public officers and the likes. This commission has played a substantial role in Nigeria, that Nigeria which was rated as the most corrupt country on the continent now has good image in the Global world. Government of developing countries should set up similar commission against erring employee or employers who might be found guilty of unjust treatment and practices.
(4.) Unbiased legislation: Government of every second world countries should ensure that employment laws enacted are not biased and are not favourable to one side. Labour laws should be formulated in such a way that the individual social partners are protected from injustice. By this, peace will surface in industrial organization.
(5.) ILO recommendations must be adhered to: For peace and harmony to take industrial organization as living home, the recommendations for International Labour Organizations should strictly be adhered to by social partners. Especially the core labour standard as recommended by the ILO.
(6.) Abolition of casualisation: The practice of casualisation or temporary staffing of employee should be eradicated if harmony is expected to reign in a country’s organizations. This practice of casualisation has been observed to be employers’ dubious way of depriving some workers of some fringe benefit that they deserve.
(7.) Incorporation of human right into secondary school curriculum: The subject of human right should be included in secondary school curriculum and should be taught as a separate subject which will cover all aspect of worker’s right at work, employers prerogative, governments duties and citizens obligations.
It is crystal clear that developments occurs in a gradual process and are determined by some overt and covert variables. Unfortunately, attention is placed only on the over factors that brings about development such as industrialization, commercialization, etc. while some of the covert factors such as; industrial peace and harmony, man power development, etc. have not really been put into consideration by many African governments. With all the said and done in this article, it is believed that sustainable and rapid development will take place in African countries.
Oludeyi Olukunle Saheed.

Friday, October 31, 2008


This is to holla at you guyz for the great developmental work you guyz have been doing. For the past 8 years now you guyz have been on track in setting the pace for others in the city of Otta. Keep up the good work and very soon we will excel.
Pro, Azeem, James, Wale, Rahmon, Ibro and others. Thumb up for you guyz.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The concept of Decent Work in Industrial Relations.

Human factor in organisation remains unique among other factors of productions. This is because of thier rational ability and of the fact that it is only the factor of production that keep other factors working and operating succesfully. Another unique feature of this human factor is that it remains the only factor that is conciouse of everything it does. The entreprenure therefore cannot do without this human element in his operation even in this mothern world of industrialisation and globalisation. Thus, it becomes very imperative that some kind of special recongnition be given to the human factor which brings about the issue of decency in the world of work.
In our own perspective, decent work might be defined in diffrent ways from how legal practitionals and social scientist will define it. It will go a long way diffrent from what the jornalist will say about it. Decent work in our term sums up the aspiration of people at work- thier aspirations which includes the equal opportunity in terms of positions they hold in an organisation and the corresponding remunirations, thier need for participating in decission making on matters that affect thier working life, thier voice and recognition as important element of the instruments used in the achievement of organisational objectives. it also includes their personal developmental activities that are instrumental to elevating them and improving thier standard of living in the society.
Decent work to us is important to human life as it helps reducing the rate of poverty and create a bearable wefarism to human. Juan Somavia, ILO Director-General, in one of his saying contends that "Decent work is central to efforts at reducing poverty, and is a means for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development" this means that decent work, if appropriately ascertained in the world of work will not only bring good life to workers -both management and employees- but it will also serve as lubricant towards achieving national development of a nation. This is why the urgent need for us in African to rise up and work towards ensuring for a decent work in all aspect of human life. What i mean is that it is high time we sood up against all forms of indecency in African's world of work.
Students, scholars, labour leaders, managers, human rights activists and all concerned personalities should find it important to make move towards a complete eradication of such un fair labour practices as child labour, casualisation or temporary employment of workers which we have identified to be the dubious way through which employers have always been depriving some workers from all fringe benefit that they deserve just like every other workers that the management call permanent staff... We sould rise to ensure an effective eradication of all forms of discriminations in working enviroment be it gender related, racial or educational. Work place safety should be ascertained in the world of work in Sub Saharan Africa. Good and pleasant working conditions for all asundries in industrial organisations is among the essential features of work decencies that we preach. It is time we ameliorate activities in all industries which has form history contributed to the present state of underdevelopment in African countries.