Globalization and Trade Unions Challenges : Nigerian Manufacturing Sector Experience


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Globalization and Trade Unions Challenges: Nigerian Manufacturing Sector Experience is a well-researched topic, it can be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.


Today, the globalization of the world market has brought about several competitions on local companies that invariably have an adverse effect on trade union density due to unfavorable macro-economic policies used for the promulgation of globalization.

The movement from Social regulation to Labour Market Control created this competition all in the name of productivity enhancement and efficiency creation.

The study examines the challenges brought by globalization and all that accompany the concept while the role of Trade Unions was also measured to overcome the flexibility brought by globalization.

The study uses secondary information with regard to discourse analysis of existing literature on the subject matter to have a position.

It was revealed that globalization created more vacuums than integration among Workers of the North and South due to competition

postulated by globalization. The study of this nature becomes significant to the Nigerian government to rethink and have a second thought on globalization before its continual adoption while trade union leaders have to revitalize their strategies in order to swim alone with globalization thus membership density will keep declining. Keywords: globalization, Trade Unions, Manufacturing Sector, Flexibility and Competitions


According to Aluko, Akinola, and Fatokun (2004) the concept of globalization, its meaning, actors, processes, and implications for the developing world has received considerable attention from scholars and bodies in contemporary time.

This is so because globalization has a negative effect on developing countries than the advanced capitalist nations of Western Europe and North America with particular regard to their socio-economic progress.
Nigerian corporations operate in a rapidly changing environment characterized by global and national influences
(Sagagi, 2007).

Today, the globalization of world markets has brought about several competitions on local companies whereas the business atmosphere in the countries (developing) is increasingly becoming unfavorable due to poor macro-economic management brought by globalization and all that accompanies it.

This assertion was corroborated by Standing (1997) when he said the societies have been moving from social regulation control to Labour market control with the objective of enhancing productivity efficiency and creating competition among nations.

Furthermore, it leads to wage flexibility and affects employment security as well as a reduction in union membership density. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to measure the role of globalization in the Nigeria context in term of socio-economic growth and development in relations to what obtains in other advanced countries of the North and suggest what trade unions can do to avert membership density declination with respect to globalization and its accomplices.

Globalization drivers are Information and Communication technologies as well as socioeconomic policies designed by Breton wood institutions to established labor market competition through internalizations of the
world economy. However, an external environment like the IMF and World Bank are seen by Nigerian corporate leaders and Trade Unions as the major constraint to the development of manufacturing sectors.

The tendency to associate corporate problems with global and local factors lead to serious discontent among the management and trade unions with the manner in which the government restructured the economy in line with free-market ideologies (Sagagi, 2007). Globalization has been tagged as an unequal process of distribution while the imbalances have led to polarisation between the developed economy that benefited from its gain and the developing nations that are losing out (Obadan, 2001; Onwuka and Eguavoen, 2007). In the case of Nigeria, globalization has contributed significantly to weaken more the inadequate domestic economic capacity needed for enhancing the productivity of the country as well as affecting the social infrastructures needed to boost growth and competitiveness.

The resultant effect of this activity is thousands of workers are being thrown out of their jobs which invariably lead to a decline in trade union membership. More so, the business atmosphere becomes unfavorable and leads to poor macroeconomic management with increasing in dilapidated infrastructures and this pose a serious challenge for the development of medium-sized companies that suppose to create more employment opportunities.

This explains why the Nigeria Labour Congress and Manufacturer Association of Nigerians have increasingly voiced their dissatisfaction with the effort of the government to liberalize the economy without providing the necessary impetus for local industries to flourish before thinking of going global.

No wonder Standing (1997) mentioned that creating full employment through labor market policies by expanding demand for workers through the attraction and retention of capital will make globalization work. This is so because one of the major purposes of labor market regulation is to protect various groups against insecurity, oppression, and exploitation but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. Due to this concomitant of economic reforms under globalization are pain-inflicting, whereby workers and civil society organizations were impelled to respond to them with strikes and protests in the country. It’s on this basis that this study is geared towards probing the challenges brought by globalization to labor movements across the world with special focus to developing countries like Nigeria where the concept (globalization) has been misused in the name of the global village for countries survival. The study examines the concept of globalization as was defined by different scholars, measured its relevance to the manufacturing sector
of the Nigeria economy vis-a-viz with other macroeconomic policies that was used for its promulgation as well as identified the major roles played by Nigeria Trade Unions to avert the spreading of the globalization gospel while the substantive conclusion and recommendations was postulated in the study.


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