Global Journal of Social Sciences Studies

Volume 4, Number 1 (2018) pp 39-51 doi 10.20448/807. | Research Articles


Existing Working Conditions and Labour Unions Agitations in Cross River State Civil Service, Nigeria

Ipole, Peter Afi 1Agba, A. Ogaboh. 2 Okpa, J. Thompson. 2 
1 Cross River State Civil Service, Nigeria
2 Sociology Department, University of Calabar, Nigeria


This study sought to describe and analyse the relationship between existing working conditions and labour unions agitations in Cross River State Civil Service, Nigeria. The study specifically examinedthe extent to which workers’remuneration and safety incites labour unions agitations. The research adopted a descriptive survey design. The instrument used for data collection was a 30-item questionnaire titled working conditions and labour unions agitations (WCLUA). Nine hundred and twelve (912) copies of the instrument were distributed to staff of Cross River State Civil Service. Copies of all the questionnaire were completed, retrieved and found usable, thus, giving a response rate of 100 percent. The generated data were statistically tested using linear regression statistical method. The survey results indicated that poor workers’remuneration and safety incites labour unions agitations. It was therefore concluded that working conditions significantly affect labour unions agitations. The study recommended among others that government should recognize and support workers’ defined safety rights; and improved remuneration of Cross River State Civil Servant as well as government should adequately compensate the workers for their efforts so as to reduce dissatisfaction among the staff.

Keywords: Working conditions, Labour unions agitations, Workers remuneration and safety.

DOI: 10.20448/807.

Citation Ipole, Peter Afi; Agba, A. Ogaboh; Okpa, J. Thompson (2018). Existing Working Conditions and Labour Unions Agitations in Cross River State Civil Service, Nigeria. Global Journal of Social Sciences Studies, 4(1): 39-51.

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Funding : This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

History : Received: 24 April 2018/ Revised: 19 July 2018/ Accepted: 26 July 2018/ Published: 31 July 2018

Publisher: Online Science Publishing


1.1. Introduction to the Problem

It is indeed an indisputable fact that in every employment relations there would always be dispute on workers’ economic rights and interest, which if not properly managed leads to agitation or degenerates into industrial conflict. The increasing rate of working conditions related industrial agitations across Nigeria, especially among civil servants in all states of the federation is a cause for concern, given their operational scale and the cost involved. Labour unions agitations bring to mind images such as antagonism, struggles between parties, opposition processes, strikes, lock out or in forms ofthreats at the work place. However, not all agitations come in these forms especially in the civil service. They come in forms of needs to be met or desires to be satisfied, disagreements to be settled or ideas to be shared which eventually leads to change of attitudes, feelings and perceptions (Jung, 2003 ; Agwu, 2013 ).

Industrial agitation however is a generic term, which covers all forms of industrial actions undertaken by workers and employers to express their dissatisfaction in the workplace (Anugwom, 2007 ). Olujide et al. (2006 ) and Patrick (2009 ) noted that organized labour in Nigeria have over the years registered their resentment over government and management show of superiority and insincerity to their plight by adopting both violent and non-violent methods to exert pressure on the government to surrender to their demands. Although, strike is the most popular form of the manifestation of industrial agitations in most society, there are other forms, which do not attract much notice or public attention, yet this latter category accounts for a significant proportion of labour management dispute. They are work-to-rule, over-time ban, lock-in or out, and intimidation (Fashoyin, 2005 ). Yesufu in Fajana (2009 ) observed that industrial agitation can also manifest in the form of covert or unorganised action.

During industrial agitation, aggrieved workers normally picket or demonstrate inside or outside the premises of the employer depending on the instruction given. This situation in most instances is characterised by singing, chanting slogans, and waving of placards outlining their demands. Agitation by labour unions in some instance is marred by actions of violence and crime such as looting, assaults, damage to property and even killing of innocent citizens. Industrial agitation in Nigeria has increasingly been accompanied by heavy handed police actions such as beating, shooting, and arrest of union leaders and members. Moreover, Nkabinde (2009 ) and Patrick (2009 ) noted that large scale industrial actions are characterised by intimidation, assault, and murder of strike breakers.

The Nigeria civil service has largely been plagued by industrial agitations of different intensities and magnitudes occasioned by unhealthy industrial relations between labour unions and governments. Most of the industrial agitationsin Nigeriabothermainly on salary increase, welfare of staff, leave, and hours of work, bonuses, indiscipline, and violence among others. In Cross River State civil service, the complaints have being the unpaid salary and promotion arrears, high handedness of government, late payment of monthly salaries and allowances, pensions and gratuity among others (Igbe et al., 2017 ). Adeola (2004 ) and Aminu (2008 ) noted that the causes of industrial agitation can be broadly classified into two categories: economic categories and non-economic categories. The economic categories basically relate to issue of compensation like wages, bonus, allowance, and conditions for work, working hours, leave and holiday without pay, unjust layoff and retrenchments. The non-economic causes include victimization of workers, ill treatment by staff members, sympathetic strikes, political factors, and indiscipline among others. The most common cause of labour dispute among civil servants in Nigeria and particularly in Cross River State has been wages increment, promotions as well as improved welfare and conditions of service (Igbe et al., 2017 ).

Labour union unrest has become a recurring decimal among civil servants in Nigeria with its attendant negative effect for various stakeholders. The consistent man-hour lost, the psychological trauma suffered by members of the public and the general fear of insecurity in the minds of ordinary citizens are the consequences of industrial agitations. Other adverse effects of industrial unrest are diversion of attention or effort among workers, mutual distrust, and suspicion between labour unions and governments as well as decrease in productivity, which affects the growth and development of the economy (Kerr, 1954 ; Agba and Ushie, 2010 ). Literature on working conditions and labour unions agitations in Cross River State civil service focuses primarily on perception based evidence with little empirical research. This study is therefore interested in bridging the knowledge gap by providing empirical evidence that would show the linkage between working conditions and labour unions agitations. The specific work conditions variables of interest are: workers’remuneration, and workers’ safety. In order to find answers to the problems stated above, the following research questions were raised:

  1. How does workers’ remunerationin terms of underwhelming salaries allowances stimulate labour unions agitation?
  2. How does unsatisfactory workers’ safety stir-up labour unions agitations?

1.2. Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine the extent to which working conditions incite labour unions agitations in Cross River State civil service, Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Examine the extent to which workers’ remuneration in terms of underwhelming salaries allowances stimulate labour unions agitations
  2. Determine how unsatisfactory workers’ safety stir-up labour unions agitations.

1.3. Statement of Hypotheses

  To achieve the objectives of this study, the following research hypotheses were tested:

  1. Workers remuneration in terms of underwhelming salaries allowances could likely stimulate labour unions agitations
  2. Unsatisfactory workers’ safety could likely stir-up labour unions agitations.


2.1. Workers Remuneration and Labour Union Agitation

Working conditions are at the core of paid work and employment relations. Generally, working conditions covers a broad range of topics and issues, from working time (hours of work, rest periods, and work schedules) to remuneration as well as the physical conditions and mental demands that exists in the workplace. According to business dictionary “Working conditions refers to working environment and all existing circumstance affecting labour in the work place, including: job hours, physical aspects, legal rights and responsibility, organizational culture, work load and training. Ali et al. (2013 ) defined working conditions as interaction created by the employee with their organizational climate, and include psychological as well as physical working conditions.A poor working condition limits the social and organizational conditions of workers and breeds unhealthy relationship between labour union and employers of labour. It also impact negatively on their industrial productivity (Elson and Pearson, 1981 ). It could impact also on the team spirit which according to Vallas (2003 ) limits “the firm's ability to provide an overarching normative or moral framework within which workplace change might unfold, leaving team systems vulnerable to anomic tendencies, to status distinctions among hourly employees, and to other sources of instability”

An employee according to Becker and Huselid (2006 ) is supposed to be entitled to a living wage, good working conditions, leave allowances, and vacations among others. The extent to which these are actually made available and beneficial to the employees in the workplace however leaves much to be desired. Studies on labour related matters reveals that employees tend to put in their best, work effectively and efficiently if the work environment is conducive and the management and corporate executives demonstrate the flexibility that they often demand of their employees (Fernandez et al., 2003 ). In order to promote a healthy labour union relation in the workplace, apart from what the law prescribed to be given as welfare to employees, employers should also be more innovative when it comes to dealing with workers’ welfare (Nativel, 2006 ). Indeed, this will serve as incentives and motivate workers to remain calm and committed to their task.

Workers remuneration is a key factor affecting industrial relations and worker performance. The level and distribution of wages and other benefits can have a considerable effect on government and labour union relationship as well as on the morale and productivity of the workforce. It is therefore vital that organisations develop pay systems that are appropriate for workers, that provide value for money, and that reward workers fairly for the work they perform (Noll, 2002 ). These will help reduce the widespread protest and agitation that often degenerate to industrial unrest in the workplace. In 2002, 21.4 percent of disputes were caused by demand of higher wages and allowances. This percentage was 20.4 percent during 2003 but by 2004 increased up to 26.2 percent. In 2005, wages and allowances accounted for 21.8 percent of disputes. Poole and Jenkins (1998 ); Milkovitch and Newman (1990 ) revealed that workers are concerned with the immediate measure of disposable income, although they recognize the fact that fringe benefits is associated with terms and conditions of employment and all other benefits in cash or kind are also part of wages. It is determined through government intervention with legislation and collective bargaining between employers and trade unions.

According to Armstrong (1999); Bratton (1999 ) the main components of payment systems include; basic pay, productivity incentives, social security, fringe benefits such as medical benefits, paid leave and allowances. Some of the allowances include rent in lieu of quarters, basic amenities for electricity, water, transport, subsidies for education of children, and domestic assistants when denied leads workers to industrial crisis. Lau and May (1998 ) provides evidence that pay, in its various forms, affects employee–organization relationship. The role of employee overtime remuneration and other rewards in motivating employees can hardly be denied. The frequent non-payment of employee overtime remuneration has been greeted with widespread protests and agitations that most times degenerate to industrial unrest (Chigozie, 2005 ). According to McCunney (2001 ) prompt payment of overtime remuneration promotes healthy industrial relation, reduces rivalry, and improves productivity.

Harrison and Liska (2008 ) affirmed in their study that reward is the centre-piece of the employment contract-after all it is the main reason why people work. This includes all types of rewards, both intrinsic and extrinsic, that are received as a result of employment by the employee. Intrinsic rewards include rewards within the job such as responsibility, autonomy appreciation from the boss and feelings of accomplishment among others. Extrinsic rewards are tangible rewards like pay bonuses and fringe benefits.Poor remuneration has often been given as a cause of low morale among workers thus leading to numerous strikes (Harrison and Liska, 2008 ). Probst and Brubaker (2001) revealed in their study that the difference between job satisfaction and dissatisfaction lies in the employees and the amount and type of rewards that the employee expects, employees expect that their contribution and efforts should be valued and given importance in the same way they value their jobs and work towards accomplishing the tasks assigned. Ademiluyi (2011 ); Prasetya and Kato (2011 ) in their analysis revealed that there is a significant influence from both financial and non-financial on the employee/employers relations. They noted that the persistent industrial unrests among Nigeria’s workers have been largely attributed to non-payment/inadequate payment of overtime remuneration.

Okereke and Daniel (2010 ) investigated “staff welfare and organization’s productivity, using Patani Local Government Council in Delta State, Nigeria as a reference. Findings showed general awareness about staff welfare among the employees and ability to identify the elements of welfare. There was absence of staff welfare in the council. The working environment was poor, in terms of office accommodation and furniture, paucity of working materials, scarcely available monetary incentives and unreliable health and safety facilities, which altogether destroys industrial harmony (labour union agitation, reduce morale and efficiency among workers. One of the notable recommendations from the work of Okereke and Daniel (2010 ) is that “pragmatic efforts should be made to enhance employee’s job capabilities through training; to improve working conditions of the employees and their general welfare in order to elicit job satisfaction and reduce industrial disharmony among workers.”

2.2. Workers Safety and Labour Unions Agitations

Safe working conditions are a prerequisite to just and fair labour rights of workers. Unfortunately, in most government ministries and parastatal these working conditions are not always guaranteed. Many workers in government agencies, especially at the state and local government levels, are subjected to dangerous and/or substandard working conditions. This includes concern such as health issues and exposure to unfriendly work environment, as well as low wages that need to be compensated by working for many hours per day, often without proper breaks. These deplorable conditions greatly affect vulnerable workers. The International Labour Organization (ILO) constitution sets forth the principle ‘that workers should be protected from sickness, diseases and injury arising from their employment because workplaces are responsible for more than 2.3 million deaths per year, of which 350,000 are fatal accidents and nearly 2 million are due to work-related diseases (International Labour Organization, 2012 ). In the United States, there were 6,026 fatal work injuries and approximately 3.8 million nonfatal injuries in 1998, resulting in an estimated 80 million production days lost for that year and almost 60 million days in future years (Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2000 ); (United States Census Bureau, 2000 ).

The work place or workers’ safety can impede or enhance peaceful industrial relations between governments and civil servants whose occupation requires comfortable, conducive, and congenial environments. Kampert (2008 ) averred that employers who pay attention to all the details that affect the welfare of their workers, including their work environment are likely to retain the best people, save cost, enjoy cordial industrial relations and improve the productivity of their workers. Similarly, Sakir and Fajonyomi (2007 ) identified clean and siren environment as part of the incentive packages that can be given to workers. Ndagana (2007 ) also stressed the indispensability of a fine ecology to industrial harmonious existence. He believes that the work place is one of the major focuses of evaluation of self. As a result, the working environment is likely to dampened employee’s moral, and as a consequence, contributes to industrial unrest. A widely accepted assumption is that better workplace environment motivates employees and produces better results. Office environment can be described in terms of physical and behavioural components. An organization’s physical environment and its design and layout can affect employee behaviour in the workplace either negatively or positively (Huang et al., 2004 ; Leblebici, 2012 ).

Nyakwara and George (2014 ) estimates that improvements in the physical design of the workplace may result in a 5-10 percent increase in employees’ productivity and promote peaceful industrial relations between employers of labour and their employees. Stallworth and Kleiner (1996 ) assert that increasingly, an organization’s physical layout is designed around employees needs in order to maximize productivity, satisfaction and avoid industrial conflict. They argue that innovative workplaces can be developed to encourage the sharing of information and networking regardless of job boundaries by allowing communication freely across departmental groups. Statt (1994 ) and Leblebici (2012 ) stated that the modern work physical environment is characterized by technology; computers and machines as well as general furniture and furnishings. To achieve high levels of employee satisfaction and reduce industrial agitation, organizations must ensure that the physical environment is conducive to organizational needs facilitating interaction and privacy, formality and informality, functionality and cross-disciplinarily. Consequently, the physical environment is a tool that can be leveraged both to improve business results (Mohr, 1996 ) and employee well-being and safety (Huang et al., 2004 ). It is evident in the research findings of Patterson et al. (1997 ) that the more satisfied workers are with their jobs the better the organization is likely to perform in terms of subsequent profitability, particularly productivity and enhanced industrial harmony.

Ensuring that adequate facilities are provided to employees is critical in generating greater employees’ commitment and conflict free industrial relations. The provision of inadequate equipment and adverse working conditions has been shown to affect employees’ commitment and intention to stay with the organization (Weiss, 1999 ; Leblebici, 2012 ) as well as levels of job satisfaction and the perception of fairness of pay (Bockerman and Ilmakunnas, 2006). From a safety perspective, Gyekye (2006 ) indicates that environmental conditions affect employee safety perceptions, which impact upon employee commitment and productivity. Extensive scientific research conducted by Roeloelofsen (2002 ) has also yielded indications suggesting that improving working environment and workers’ safety results in a reduction in a number of complaints and absenteeism, deviant behaviour, agitation and increase in productivity. The indoor environment has the biggest effect on productivity in relation to job stress and job dissatisfaction.

Okene (2006 ); Adewumi (2010 ) blame the deplorable working condition of workers to weak institutional and regulatory framework. They noted that the deplorable working condition has led to chronic diseases and other vulnerable social conditions. Okene, Adewunmi contend that as long as this situation persists, workers’ right to collective bargaining especially for essential welfare package (worker safety) would continue to be abridged. Similarly, Weiler (2009 ) stated that although there are ample laws that have been put in place to compel employers to provide safety to the employees, implementation, and enforcement are the major impediments to the realisation of the provisions of the laws. Most times, employees renege in their promises to provide safety knowing very well that employees are vulnerable and would rather keep silence in the face of blatant violation of their rights to welfare than face the reprisal. These issues often result into conflicts leading to union members declaring their resistance against the organisation, which may culminate to strike actions or lock-outs (Stiglitz et al., 2009 ).


3.1. Conflict Theory

Conflict theory is a perspective in sociology that emphasised the socio-political and material inequality of social group in society. It holds that society or formal organisation functions so that individuals and groups can struggle to maximise their profits, which inevitably results to change or revolutions. It describes instance in industrial relations where conflict occurs within or between groups. Conflict theory can be traced to thinkers such as Machiavelli or Thomas Hobbes, both of them holds that human race or humanity as cynical. The theory was popularised by Karl Marx in the 18th century. Other 18th century proponents of conflict theory are – Ludwig Gumplowicz (1938-1909), Lester F. Ward (1841-1913). It was redeveloped by Cyril Wright Mills, Gene Sharp, Ralf Dahrendorf, Lewis Coser, Alan Fox, among others in the 19th century (Coser, 1964 ; Fox, 1966 ; Collins, 1975; Malia, 1998 ; Dahrendorf, 2007 ) . Conflict theory views the organization and indeed the entire industrial relations as a coalescence of divers groups with different interests, objectives, and values. This suggests that the worker have different values and aspirations contrary to that of management.

These values and aspirations often result to conflict between management and workers thereby leading to change, since divergent values and aspirations continue to exist between workers and management, conflict/agitation becomes inevitable, normal, rational, and a functional phenomenon in organizations or industrial relations (Coser, 1964; Rose, 2008 ). Conflict theory holds that workers or their unions and the employers’ interests are diametrically conflictual and contrary to one another. The employers want to hire labour at the lowest possible cost, while the workers want to be hired at the highest possible price. Again, the employer or management want to maximise profit while the worker want to maximise salary/wages. This divergent orientation propels conflict and atimes radical change in conditions of service. The employer tries as much as possible to maintain social, political, and economical inequalities in the workplace and industrial relations, which that places the worker in a disadvantage position; and perpetuate his/her status quo as a proletariat (Chidi and Okpala, 2012 ).


Survey research design was adopted in this study. The choice of this design derives its relative importance in the collection of accurate information from respondents at relatively low cost and greater efficiency. Also, the researcher opted for this design because it allows for the drawing of inferences. The study was carried out in Cross River State civil service. Cross River State civil service initially known and called Cross River State civil service commission was established in May 1968. The structure of the state civil service is bureaucratic in nature and is largely staffed by permanent secretaries as well as technocrats. The officials are in employment until retirement and are promoted in the course of service by seniority. The civil servants in Cross River State are remunerated at a standard rate. The pay is graded and fixed by government agency enjoy and minimum annual increment within a promotion period. The service is structured into ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and coordinated at the apex by the office of the Head of Service (HOS). The Permanent secretary is the administrative head of the ministry, while the Director is the head of a department. The watch dog of the service is the civil service commission. The commission is charged with the responsibilities of appointing, promoting and discipline of staff.

The population of this study consists of employees of the Cross River State civil service. The Cross River State civil service is composed of fifteen (15) Ministries, seventeen (17) Departments, (60) parastatals and Agencies (MDAS). The population of the fifteen (15) ministries are four thousand two hundred and thirteen staff (4,213), while the total population of the seventeen (17) departments are five hundred and thirty-six (536). Again the population of the sixty parastatals and agencies are twelve thousand, eight hundred and forty-one (12,841). The gross total of the population of study is seventeen thousand, five hundred and ninty (17,590). The study adopted the multi-stage sampling technique. This approach involves the use of both probability and non-probability method in sample selection. The multi-stage approach was applied in the selection of ministries, parastatals, as well as respondents from who data were generated. Cross River State civil service is made up of fifteen (15) Ministries, seventeen Departments (17) and sixty (60) Parastatals and Agencies. Purposive sampling technique was adopted in the selection of five Ministries, three Departments and eleven Parastatals. The five (5) purposively selected Ministries, three Department and eleven (11) Parastatals forms the nineteen clusters for the study.

From the nineteen clusters, stratified random sampling procedure was used in the selection of four (4) offices each from the Ministries, Departments, Parastatals and Agencies. This implies that a total of seventy-six (76) offices were selected for the study. The sample of the study was drawn from the selected offices in the MDA’s. Systematic random sampling procedure was adopted in the selection of respondents. The process starts with the enumeration of all sampled offices in the MDAS into even and odd numbers. Twelve respondents were selected from each of the seventy-six offices (76) drawn from the Ministries, Departments, parastatals and Agencies. On aggregate, a total of 912 respondents were selected for the study. The survey monkey mathematical model was employed to determine the sample size of the study. The sample for the study comprised nine hundred and twelve (912) participants (male and female), which was selected through systematic sampling procedure from the nineteen Ministries, Departments, parastatals and agencies of the Cross River State civil service. The sample comprised personnel, administrative and management staff of the state civil service.

A self-designed questionnaire was used for the study. The instrument was divided into three parts. Part A contains item eliciting the bio-data of the research participants. Part B contains statement on four Likert-scale, requiring the participants to indicate their level of agreement and disagreement to the items. The responses ranged from Strongly Agree (SA) – 4 point, Agree (A) – 3 point, Disagree (D) – 2 points, and Strongly Disagree (SD) – 1 point. This part contains 30 items. Items 1-16 focused on minimum wage and labour unions agitations. Items 7-12 emphasised working hours and labour unions agitations. Items 13-18 was concern with overtime benefits and labour unions agitations, while 19-24 dwells on workers’ safety and labour unions agitations. Item 25-30 measures the dependent variable.This research instrument was adopted because large amount of information can be collected from a large number of people in a short period of time and in a relatively cost effective way. Furthermore, the instrument can be administered with the help of research assistance with limited effect to its validity and reliability. Elicited data were analysed with linear regression analytical procedure.


5.1. Hypothesis One

In the null form hypothesis one states that, workers’ remuneration in terms of underwhelming allowances could likely stimulate labour unions agitations. The independent variable in this hypothesis is workers’ remuneration while the dependent variable is labour unions agitations, linear regression was employed to test this hypothesis at p <.05, the result is presented in Table 1Linear regression was conducted to determine the best linear combination between workers’ remuneration and labour unions agitations. The result in table 1 shows that the predictor variable (workers remuneration) significantly predict labour unions agitations, F(1, 910) = 52.735, P < .05. The correlation is positive and moderate (R=.234). More importantly, they accounted for 23.4 percent of the variance in labour unions agitations.

The beta weights suggest that poorworkers’ remuneration contribute to the prediction of labour unions agitations (β=.234, t=7.262, p < .05), the adjusted R Squared value of .054 which is a measure of effect size, indicate that 5.4 percent of the variance in labour unions agitations was explained by the model. According to Cohen (1988 ) this is a moderate effect size. This result implies that, the null hypothesis, which states that, Workers remuneration in terms of underwhelming allowances could likely stimulate labour unions agitations is rejected while the alternate hypothesis is upheld.

5.2. Hypothesis Two

In the null form hypothesis two states that,unsatisfactory workers’ safety could likely stir-up labour unions agitations. The independent variable is workers’ safety while the dependent variable is labour unions agitations, linear regression analysis was used to test this hypothesis at p <.05, the result is presented in Table 2Linear regression was conducted to determine the best linear combination between workers’ safety and labour unions agitations. The result in Table 2 shows that the predictor variable (workers safety) significantly predicted labour unions agitations, F(1, 910) = 212.284, P >. 05. The correlation is positive and moderate (R = .435). More importantly, they accounted for 43.5 percent of the variance in labour unions agitations. The beta weights suggest that an increase in activities that threatens workers’ safety contribute to the prediction of labour unionsagitations (β = .435, t = 14.570, p < .05), the adjusted R Squared value of .188 which is a measure of effect size, indicate that 18.8 percent of the variance in labour unions agitations was explained by the model. According to Cohen (1988 ) this is a moderate effect size.This result implies that, the null hypothesis, which states that, unsatisfactory workers’ safety could likely stir-up labour unions agitations is rejected while the alternate is upheld.

Table-1. Linear regression of workers’ remuneration and labour unions agitations

Variable  Mean SD r-value Sig.  
Workers remuneration  18.61 2.68      
0.234 0
Labour unions agitations 17.05 3.94
Model summary    
Model  R R Square Adjusted R Squared Sd. Error of the Estimate
1 .234a 0.055 0.054 2.612  
Model Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
Regression  360 1 360 52.735 0
Residual  6212.141 910 6.827    
Total  6572.14 911
Regression coefficients      
Model  B Std. Error Beta t. Sig.
Constant  15.89 0.384   41.336 0
Labour unions agitations 0.159 0.022 0.234 7.262 0

*significant at .05; df = 1, 910; critical r = .062; critical F = 3.86

Table-2. Linear regression of workers’ safety and labour unions agitations

Variable  Mean SD r-value Sig.  
Workers safety 18.44 2.79      
Model summary
Model  R R-Square Adjusted R Squared Sd. Error of the Estimate  
1 0.435 0.189 0.188 2.419
Model Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
Regression  1243.144 1 1243.144 212.284 0
Residual  5328.997 910 5.856
Total  6572.14 911      
Regression coefficients
Model  B Std. Error Beta T Sig.
Constant  10.895 0.536 20.332 0
Labour union agitation  0.419 0.029 0.435 14.57 0

*significant at .05; df = 1, 910; critical r = .062; critical F = 3.86

5.3. Summary of Result

  1. Unsatisfactory workers’ safety stir-up labour unions agitations.
  2. Workers remuneration in terms of underwhelming allowances stimulate labour   unions agitations


The findings of this study, shows that the existing working conditions in Cross River State Civil Service is responsible for the series of labour unions agitationsin thestate. Based on the statistical analysis of the study,it was specifically established that all the working conditions variables examined, namely workers’ remuneration and safety equally incites labour unions agitations. While acknowledging the fact that working conditions affects the occurrence of labour unions agitations, the study shows that workers who are properly rewarded are satisfied and desist from any activity that could paralysed the functioning of the system. Similarly, the study reveals that workers’ safety is a sine-qua-non for maintaining peaceful industrial relations between government and labour unions. In the same vein, the findings in this study shows clearly that prompt payment of workers’ remuneration could help manage industrial unrest. The findings indicate that remuneration mattersgreatly affects the occurrence of industrial action. Finally, based on the foregoing, it was therefore concluded that unhealthy working conditions breeds labour unions agitations in Cross River State Civil Service, Nigeria. 


  1. Government should recognize and support workers’ defined safety rights. Job safety and accountability must be clearly defined. The budget for workers’ safety should be adequate to meet the safety needs of staff. Similarly, each piece of equipment used by workers should be adequately maintained and safe to operate. Also, working tools should be provided with adequate operating procedures including safety hazards information. Maintenance of working tools should be handledby experts according to international standards and best practices.
  2. Employee of Cross River State Civil Service should be compensatedadequatelyin accordance to rules and regulations in other to reduce dissatisfaction among the workers. All arrears of monetised benefits should be fully paid to workers in order to harvest the best from them. This can be achieved through prudence management and utilization of public resources in order to meet personal cost. Government should ensure that monetisation policy is put in place to meet the basic needs of workers so as to give in their best and achieve maximum satisfaction.


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About the Authors

Ipole, Peter Afi
Cross River State Civil Service, Nigeria
Agba, A. Ogaboh.
Sociology Department, University of Calabar, Nigeria
Okpa, J. Thompson.
Sociology Department, University of Calabar, Nigeria

Corresponding Authors

Ipole, Peter Afi

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