Home VOL. 9 (2023) Workers’ Participation at the Workplace: Between Collective Bargaining and Industrial Democracy Practice...

Workers’ Participation at the Workplace: Between Collective Bargaining and Industrial Democracy Practice in Nigeria

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Abstract

Collective bargaining has always been the major vehicle for workers’ participation in the workplace. Through collective bargaining, the terms and conditions of employment are settled. The scope of collective bargaining is restricted only to issues that pertain to the terms and conditions of employment. The South African model of collective bargaining is worthy of note as it features less governmental interference and more bargaining power on the workers. On the other hand, the current practice of industrial democracy generally provides that workers should be given opportunity to be involved in the management of their work places alongside their employers. In practical terms, this means that employers have to consult the employees before taking decisions on vital issues in the workplace. This is best practiced in Germany where there are statutory provisions in the Work Constitution Act of 1972 and in the Co-determination Act of 1976 appointing specified number of employees into supervisory boards and work council boards where they take joint decisions with their employers as regards the management of the workplace. This article argues that the concept of industrial democracy is unethical on the part of the employer and discourages free enterprise and should not be entrenched in Nigeria. It concludes by recommending proposals that will aid the effective practice of collective bargaining in Nigeria.

Authors: O. V. C. Okene, E. N. A. Okere