The concept of labour movement is used to refer to trade unions or labour unions, their organization and operations.

Types of Labour unions/trade unions

  1. Craft Trade union

This refers to an association of skilled workers who perform the same kind of work i.e. they have the same skills e.g. KNUT e.t.c

  1. Industrial/ general union

This is an association of all workers in a given industry/economy regardless of what job each perform and their qualification e.g. COTU.

Roles of Trade Unions

  1. Bargains with employer for high wages for their members.
  2. To negotiate for fringed benefits e.g. housing, medical and hardship allowances.
  3. They protect workers against unfair treatment and dismissal by the employers.
  4. They advice the government on major economic policies that affect the workers in the economy.
  5. They negotiate for improvement for the working conditions and standard of living of the workers.
  6. Help settle/regulate dispute between workers and employers as well as between workers themselves.
  7. They keep in establishing friendly relationship between workers in different industries/sectors.

Role of employers associations

Employers association: is a formal group of employers set up to defend, represent or advise affiliated employers and to strengthen their position in society at large with regard to labour matters.

Aims of employers association:

  1. To regulate trade and competition by mutual agreement
  2. To seek statutory protection in trade
  3. To provide services in the fields of industrial relations and personal administration
  4. To lobby within the political arena in opposition to social legislation e.g. minimum pay laws, reduced hours of work e.t.c.

Functions of employers association

  • Provision of a forum to enable individual employers to exchange views to develop and express policies
  • Representation of employers interests to governments and other public policy making bodies.
  • Communication of employers interest and views to the media and the community generally.
  • Provision of specialized services to members
  • Industrial relations activities and services to members including representing employers generally and individual employers in conciliation and arbitration proceedings.

Industrial relations

Industrial relations are concerned with the employer-employee relations in industry.

Significance of industrial relations

Smooth industrial relations are indispensable for the following reasons:

  1. Smooth industrial relations would help in economic progress of an economy. Sound industrial relations results in increased productivity which is necessary for bringing rapid economic development
  2. Good industrial relations help in establishing and maintaining true industrial democracy which is necessary for establishment of a socialist society.
  3. Sound industrial relations result in smooth collective bargaining on the part of both labour and management
  4. Sound industrial relations would help the government in framing and implementing various laws pertaining to labour, forbidding unfair practices of unions and employers
  5. Good industrial relations result in less number of disputes and grievances, and it boosts the morale and discipline of workers
  6. Good industrial relations result in orderliness, effectiveness and efficiency of economy. Unions gain more strength and vitality. Inter union rivalry gets reduced considerably.

Objectives of industrial relations

Industrial relations are basically aimed at:-

  1. Safeguarding the interests of labour and management by securing the highest level of mutual understanding and goodwill among all those workers and sections in the industry which participate in the process of production.
  2. Avoiding the industrial conflict or strife and developing harmonious relations, which are absolutely essential for improving productivity and industrial progress.
  3. Raising productivity to a higher level by reducing absenteeism and labour turnover.
  4. Establishing and nursing the growth of industrial democracy based on labour partnership in the sharing of profits and of management decisions, so that an individual can grow to his/her fullest potentials and contribute to the industry as well as a country.
  5. Eliminating the possible strikes and lockouts, by providing reasonable wages, improved working conditions, and settling the grievances.
  6. Establishing government controls over such plants and units which are running at substantial losses and those units producing goods prohibited in the public interest.



Manpower is regarded as the quantitative/qualitative measurement of labourforce required in a given economy. However in relation to may be regarded as establishing objectives in order to develop human resources in line with broad objectives of an economy/an organization thus manpower planning is a process by which the government of an economy/management of an organization ensures the right number and kind of people at the right place doing the right things/jobs.

Significance of Manpower planning

  1. It helps in attaining the right number of persons required to carry out the organizational plans and activities in order to achieve its various objectives and this also ensures the right flow and maintains the pace of production.
  2. It aids/assists in forming/designing training development programs for the personnel because it takes into account the effect of anticipated changes in technology, markets and products on manpower requirement.
  3. It helps in formulating the managerial promotional plans as part of the replacement planning process.
  4. It provides enough opportunity for identifying and developing managers to move up the ladder.
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