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The purpose of this research is to investigate the study of industrial action and dispute resolution at Nigeria’s public tertiary institutions. with special reference to Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) in Enugu. And to make recommendations on how the administration of higher education institutions in Enugu State could handle conflicts in an efficient and effective manner. The first chapter contains a broad introduction to the research topic as well as a discussion of the issues and objectives of the research topic. The scope of the investigation, the relevance of the study, the hypothesis to be evaluated, or the research questions, and the definition of words.

The second chapter is a survey of related and pertinent literature on topics such as the definition of an industrial dispute. meaning of industrial connection forms of disagreement effect of industrial disputes in institutions of higher learning techniques for settling disputes and causes responsible for industrial disputes in higher institutions. The third chapter discusses research methodology, which is divided into the following topics: sources of data collecting for the study, research population sample, and sampling procedures employed, instrument and method of data collection. The fourth chapter describes the analysis, presentation, and interpretation of data gathered by percentage analysis and hypothesis testing. Finally, chapter five discusses the interpretation of results, including a summary of findings, recommendations, conclusions, and limitations of the study.





The federal government was affected in the formulation of the nation’s industrial strategy by the country’s social and economic situations, as well as the standards set by the International Labor Organization (ILO), of which Nigeria is a member.

In Nigeria, the federal ministry of labor and productivity’s trade union service and industrial relations department are primary responsible for the promotion and maintenance of industrial peace and harmony in all trade disputes that (ie. Employers and employees or union members) have failed to settle through internal machinery designed to reach amicable settlement of disputes.

Despite the establishment of these two departments, 1,327 trade disputes were handled during the last seven years, resulting in 813 strikes and lockouts. Only 821 of the 1,327 conflicts were handled by intervention and conciliation, while 307 were submitted to the industrial Arbitration panel (IAP), and 205 were settled by the national industrial court.

These industrial relations could be defined as the network social relationship between employees and their employers, as well as their associations and government and their numerous agencies, in their efforts to replete terms and conditions of employment and perform other functions that directly or indirectly concern the establishment and maintenance of peaceful and purposeful labor management relations, which involve the use of machinery dealing with complaints and grievances.

According to Arnistrony E (1980), industrial relations are the activity of labor, management, and government to improve working conditions.

Meanwhile, the recent increase in strike and industrial tensions might be attributed to a suspicious problem between employers and employees, as well as an intra-union conflict.  In order to optimize their quality of living, which is frequently undermined by inflation, workers desire more compensation and improved working conditions. Employers, on the other hand, fight such proposals because they think it would diminish their revenues. This rejection might lead to a strike or industrial strife.

The public sector government fought it due to a lack of cash and the potential economic effects.

The causes of these inter or intra union disagreements can be linked back to a communication gap between the official and the member, claimed theft or embezzlement of union money, and the union’s failure to call national delegates conferences when they are due.

In recent years, trade conflicts, particularly those between intra and inactive unions, have resorted in legal proceedings. Some disagreements have resulted in the establishment of more than 30 court proceedings involving various labor unions. It has been the norm among trade union leaders to take intra and inter union issues to civil courts rather than using the dispute resolution mechanisms available for them by the Trade issues Act of 1976 (Amendment decree).

The Nigeria Labour Compound (NLC) is the umbrella organization for all trade unions in the nation. It was established by the trade union decree of 1978, which organized the country’s labor force into 42 trade unions. The decree outlines how the law would be implemented, including the need that each union file a yearly statement of account with the registrar of trade unions in the federal ministry of labor and productivity.  The 1976 industrial relations decree specifies how low-level conflicts between the company and the employees’ union are to be resolved. Employers and employee unions must try to reach an internal agreement through joint consultation and collective bargaining.  If this fails, there is provision for the declaration of a formal trade dispute and the referral of the subject to the Ministry of Labor and Productivity.  Where the internal conflict resolution process fails, the external conflict resolution mechanism takes over. The first panel is for mediation. The transaction.  The Dispute Act requires employers and unions to meet within seven (7) days of the dispute being declared, either by themselves or their representatives, under the chairmanship of a mediator mutually agreed upon and appointed by one or both of the parties, in order to reach an amicable settlement.  The mediator must be perceived by the parties as unbiased and must not impose his conclusion on any of the parties.

If the mediator fails, the parties must submit a productivity report (FMELP) within fourteen (14) days. To resolve the disagreement, the ministry will designate a conciliator. The conciliator must investigate the cause and circumstances of the conflict. If a solution is made within 14 days, he shall transmit to the minister a memoradun containing the conditions of the settlement, properly signed by the parties concerned, but if he fails, he shall refer the issue to arbitration within another 14 days.

The Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) is the first step in the legal procedure for settling disputes. The disagreement was referred to them 62 days after it began. The IAP was established in 1969 to determine issues that could not be resolved via mediation or conciliation. The IAP is granted 42 days to resolve the case. If there is no progress, they should report it to the national industrial court (NIC). If there is no settlement, NIC has 22 days to recommend it to the ministers.

Section 23 of the Trade Disputes Act authorizes the minister of labor to establish a board of injuring and investigation to injure and investigate disputes and employment concerns.

Meanwhile, Trade Disputes Decree No. 7 of 1976 compels parties to a disagreement to use the organization’s existing collective bargaining apparatus in the first instance.

In our institution of higher learning, the history of industrial relations has been distinguished by persistent industrial activities during the last 10 years. The first was in July 1988, when the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) went on strike against their employers, the National Universities Commission/Federal Ministry of Education, and their respective universities.

Higher education institutions in Enugu State have endured many bouts of industrial unrest. In these institutions, trade unions frequently declare trade disputes. The most important are the academic staff union of universities (ASUU), the senior staff organization of universities, and so on.  Some trade disputes have been successfully settled through internal discussions, while others have been addressed through mediation and conciliation by a third party through amicable procedures.


Management of labor conflicts in higher education has not been an easy undertaking. The provisions of the 1976 Trade Disputes Decree on Procedure have sometimes been violated by the government’s arbitrary use of authority in forcefully settling the disagreement. This generally keeps the argument under wraps for a while.  Negotiations have frequently broken down due to the parties’ inability to make concessions to each other’s demands, thereby reaching a compromise. Other previously suspended negotiations resume due to the institution’s authority’s inability to meet the terms of settlement previously reached.

The same industrial action had erupted not as a result of dissatisfaction between the institution’s authority and the trade union members, but as a sympathy action in support of members of another institution who were taking industrial action against the authority.  If it becomes impossible to bring back the striking members to work through the institution’s initial consultants, solidarity and sympathy strikes are tough to resolve since the legal procedures of mediation and conciliation have always proven ineffective. It is frequently resolved when the actual activities at issue resolve the concerns at hand.


The objective of this study among other thing include:

  1. To examine the nature of trade dispute in institution of higher learning in Enugu State.
  2. To examine the problems of industrial dispute management in these institutions.
  3. To examine the procedures usually adopted by the parties in he settlement of these disputes.
  4. To examine the factors responsible for trade disputes in the higher institution
  5. To check if the procedures are conformity with the stipulation of the trade decree act of 1976 in resolution trade disputes.
  6. To suggest ways of improving the management of industrial disputes in these institution.



  1. What is the nature of trade dispute or industrial conflicts in higher institution in Enugu State
  2. What factors are responsible for industrial conflict in the institutions
  3. What are the procedure usually adopted by the parties in conflict in resolving this conflict
  4. These procedures are they in conformity with those stipulate in trade dispute decree of 1976 on how to resolve industrial conflict.
  5. How effective have the settlement machinery been in managing these industrial dispute
  6. What are the problems of industrial dispute
  7. Through what ways can the disputes management system to improved


In many ways, the research is critical. First, it will describe the nature of industrial conflict in higher education institutions. It will also emphasize the numerous elements that frequently contribute to such industrial conflict, as well as why there has always been a breakdown in discussions and industrial conflict management remains tough.

The research findings will be beneficial to the institution’s authorities since they will assist them in making decisions that will prevent the creation of a circumstance that will lead to industrial conflict.  It will also teach them how to approve industrial conflicts in order to resolve them amicably.  The findings will contribute to the effective resolution of an industrial conflict.  The research will also be valuable to union representatives since it will explain why industrial conflicts emerge or persist as a result of their incorrect attitude to settlements. Furthermore, it will make employers’ and employees’ union leaders grasp the significance of industrial peace in the establishment of healthy industrial relations and rational growth.

Finally, the material presented will be relevant to any student who may do a related study in the future.


This study covers Enugu State and will be based on some selected tertiary institution within the area.  It specifically appraisal the causes and effect of industrial conflict


  1. Conciliator: Person appointed by the honourable ministry of labour to settle the industrial disputes if a mediator fails
  2. Conciliation: The process of settlement under the auspices of a conciliators
  3. Industrial dispute: A situation of disharmony in industrial relations between employers and employees
  4. Industrial relation: Relationship between employers and employees
  5. Industrial arbitration panel: A body established to settle industrial dispute and to give a binding decision on both parties.
  6. National industrial cover: An adjudicating institution established to examine the ruling of the (IAP) and to give the final decision.
  7. Nigeria labour congress: The umbrella organization for all the trade union in the country
  8. Mediator: The first person usually agreed upon by the parties in dispute to settle the conflict
  9. Mediation: The process of settlement using a mediator.


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