Title: Trade unions, collective bargaining and the global economic recession: a general review from a federated emerging economy – Nigeria

Authors: Olawale Ajai

Addresses: Lagos Business School, Pan African University, Km 22, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ajah, Lagos, Nigeria

Abstract: The right to work is not part of the fundamental rights in the constitutions of many countries and even the right to association which covers the right to unionise is surprisingly treated with disdain in some 'more civilised nations'. In light of global economic downturn there are massive cuts in public sector jobs and lay-offs in the private sector as well in many countries. There have been wage cuts in some countries as well. Pension rights have been abrogated or hugely revised to the disadvantage of workers. The outlook for developing countries is not particularly good, due to their dependence on commodity trade, investment and aid flows. However, social equity, human rights and freedoms are recognised as imperative for sustainable development, along with environmental conservation, of course. Trade union law, therefore, remains a topical aspect of the social agenda and should be revisited in the national and global legal discourse with a view to instrumentally calibrating a balance between the desire to restructure 'over-consumption' and intra-generational sustainable development. This paper offers a review of Nigerian trade union law and practice with a view to providing a platform for examining the relevant issues of human rights and public law, business and economic management and governance, as well as learning points for emerging economies and federations and from the global economic downturn.

Keywords: right to work; trade union law; collective bargaining; productivity agreements; human rights; global recessions; economic recessions; sustainable workplaces; sustainability; sustainable development; Nigeria; trade unions; federated economies; emerging economies; fundamental rights; constitutions; constitutional law; human rights; right to association; right to unionise; unionisation; global downturns; economic downturns; public sector; unemployment; jobs; lay-offs; private sector; wage cuts; budget cuts; pension rights; pensions; developing countries; commodity trade; investment; aid flows; social equity; environmental conservation; legal discourses; restructuring; over-consumption; intra-generational development; business management; economic management; corporate governance; federations; public law; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2012.046074

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2012 Vol.2 No.2, pp.191 - 214

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 23 Feb 2012 *

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