Trade Unionism and Wage Agitations In Nigeria: The Nigerian Labour Congresstrade Unionism and Wage Agitations In Nigeria: The Nigerian Labour Congress
Trade Unions emerged from the efforts of workers to seek improvement on existing working conditions through collective actions. They function to provide social, economic, political and psychological benefits for their members as well as the platform for participation in managerial functions in the industry. Today’s unions are no more mere bargaining agents or lobbyists but rather transformed into a social movement through which the working class has promoted mass democracy. In the face of persistent agitation for wage increase, this paper examines the factors that propel wage agitation; and the challenges NLC faces in the clarion call for wage increase. A total of four hundred and ten (410) workers in wage employment were selected for this study, using a random sampling technique. In-depth interviews were held to compliment the use of the questionnaire administered. The research reviewed some literature and based on the Pluralist and Marxist perspectives. The findings revealed that abject poverty; wage discrimination and incessant call for wage review are the major propellers of agitation for wage increase. The study therefore recommends improvement on social services in the areas of health care, education, housing, transportation and other social infrastructure. This will reduce the incessant clamour for wage increase.