1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Organization exists at the instance of the efforts of both the employer and the employees who are the prime movers of the operational activities of the entity. The two parties therefore, co-exist and interact in the course of the day-to-day operations of the organization. The above scenario in the workplace implies that there is defined relationship between the employer and the employees. Such two parties in the organization engage in formal relationship, which is purely for operational purposes. Therefore, the relationship between the employer and the employees is contractual in nature, which is that of master-servant relations. The implication is that industrial relations as a term embrace all aspects of the relationship between individual workers and groups (trade union and the management) in the course of organizational operations ( Akubuiro, 2003).
Fajana, (1995) states that industrial relations cover all aspects of employment relations between the employer and the employees in organizational operations. Hence, it relates to contractual relationship between the employer and the employees, regulation of conditions of service, collective bargaining, management of strikes, industrial democracy, employer-trade unions relations, and organization personnel policies on how to relate on mutual basis with individual workers and their trade unions in the course of organizational operations
Generally industrial relations can be viewed as employee – employer relationship in the work place, the essence of which is to enhance employee satisfaction, and the furtherance of industrial peace and organizational growth (Swanepoel 2002). Other dimension to industrial relations is its tripartite nature as a relationship that exists between workers, employers and government.
According to Emiola, (2000), the position of the government is that of a regulator and protector of the workers’ rights. The legality of industrial relations derives from government’s recognition of employer and employees as partners in the production of goods and services. In the same vein, there is a range of government legislation regulating their (the employer and the employees) day-to-day activities. It implies that the position of government in industrial relations is one of acting as the watch-dog over the relationship between the employer and employees in the workplace. The essence of industrial relations revolves around the determination of general conditions of service, discipline, maintaining a stable work force, maintaining an ideal level of productivity, and providing welfare facilities for workers, among other issues in the workplace (Akubuiro, 2003).
The existence of unions is to allow workers to participate in the determination of policies under which they will consent to work. The principal interest of the employer on the other hand, is to maintain control of the organization, especially by monitoring allocation of organization’s resources. While the trade union demands represent extra cost to the employer, the employer in order to remain in business will introduce some measures to cut down costs by all means so as to make the maximum profit margin (Thiebart, 2003).
The result is that there is latent and often manifest of antagonism among the two parties, occasioned by the fact that their respective interests are at variance except in their bid to ensure continuity of production which fosters their dependence on each other for survival. There will be effective industrial relations in an organization if the following conditions exit: