The president, National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Babatunde Olatunji, has urged governments at all levels, employers in the private sector, workers and the trade unions to uphold and utilise collective bargaining machinery to prevent conflict and crisis in the workplace.
Giving a panacea to the perennial crisis between Labour and government as well as employers in the country, the NUCFRLANMPE president said collective bargaining machinery must be properly utilised as a condition necessary in preventing conflict; while proper training and development must also be in place.
In a paper he presented entitled, ‘Steps in conflict resolution process: NUCFRLANMPE experience’ at a one-day workshop in Lagos, the union leader also declared that there must be an organisational dynamic approach to managing conflict.
Besides, he identified effective communication between workers and management; rewards, which should be based on merit; and proper job enrichment and enlargement, such as career development, promotion and motivation, as other conditions necessary in preventing conflict.
He pointed out that resolving conflicts is sine qua non to organizational survival, and as such should be carefully accorded priority.
“The strategy, principle, process and practice must carefully be examined with a view to ensuring healthy conflict resolution without bias or prejudices. In handling conflict, the validity of the issue must be determined — find out whether any collective agreement has been breached; whether any labour law or policy is being violated or workers’ health, safety and welfare been jeopardised.”
To the NUCFRLANMPE president, conflict is unavoidable, and therefore it’s resolution should be handled effectively with care.
He said: “Conflict is as old as human existence; therefore, it is an unavoidable phenomenon whenever there is relationship or contact between two or more people. Its inevitability propelled the existence of industrial relations system whereby roles of different actors are well stated.
“But even at that, there are occasions whereby overlapping roles, rights encroachment and or denial bring about conflict. It, therefore, becomes expedient to summarise that we cannot do without conflict.
“However, we should also not be so overwhelmed by conflict that we will now shun or look down at resolution mechanism, because conflict must surely arise as we engage in economic activities for enhancing means of our livelihood and for the betterment of our dear economy – Nigeria.”