Voluntary Membership of Trade Unions


Thursday, May 24, 2018 n  11.35AM / Oserogho & Associates



Employees have an inalienable, constitutional right to join any association of their choice, where such association seeks to protect and promote their contractual and constitutional rights.


Employment associations are usually formed and registered as Trade Unions to fulfill the above objectives.


A Trade Union is thus described by the Trade Unions Act (as amended) to be a voluntary combination or association of employees in the same industrial sector of the economy, whether such employees are in temporary or permanent employment, with the principal purpose of promoting the terms and the conditions of its members’ employment contracts.


Voluntariness of Trade Unions

Section 12 (4) of the Trade Unions Act (as amended) (“TUA”) provides that “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act, membership of a trade union by employees shall be voluntary and no employee shall be forced to join any trade union or be victimised for refusing to join or remain a member.”


The TUA further prohibits any Trade Union from engaging in any form of discriminatory practices, including where such practices are premised on an employee’s place of origin, tribe or community; religious or political opinions or affiliations.


Any infringement of any of the above provisions, by an Officer of a Trade Union, constitutes an offence, which on conviction attracts a fine.


Benefits of Trade Unions

One of the principal benefits of belonging to a Trade Union is the accessibility of its members to the benefit accruing from any Collective Agreement that the Trade Union negotiates on behalf of its employee members, with an employer or a group of employers. A Collective Agreement is thus a good faith negotiated agreement regarding employees terms and conditions of service.


Another benefit of belonging to a Trade Union is that such association enables its members to declare and undertake any strike action, collectively. Businessdictionary.com describes a Strike Action to be a collective, organised cessation or slow-down of work to compel an employer or a group of employers to accede to the employees’ legitimate demands.


A further benefit to belonging to a Trade Union is the enablement of a group of employees to peacefully picket an employer’s work premises in order to compel the employer to accede to the employees’ legitimate demands. Picketing can be described as one of the forms of industrial actions used by Trade Unions to persuade non-member employees and solicit public support before an all-out Strike Action is embarked upon. Picketing usually occurs where an employer does not accede to the legitimate demands of the employees.


It is however an offence to compel any employee or a group of employees to participate in any strike, work to rule or picketing activity.


Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.



Our Courts of Law have rightly continued to restrain Trade Unions from coercing, harassing, intimidating or threatening employees to join Trade Unions. Damages also apply for any infringement of this statutory regulation.


Twenty-first century industrialisations, with the aggressive privatisation of previously held government enterprises have however continued to dwindle the efficacy and relevancy of Trade Union movements.


The above developments are further exacerbated by the inability, and in some cases the unwillingness, of Trade Unions to modernise, and put their employee members’ general interest over and above those of the Executive Officers of the Trade Unions. 


LATEST Development in the Market

·         Executive Summary of Changes to CAMA

·         Senate Passes New CAMA Bill into Law; Lists Seven Benefits 



This is a free educational material. It does not serve as a source of solicitation, advertisement or the offering of legal services or advice of any kind. No Client/Attorney relationship is therefore created. Readers are strongly advised to always seek from qualified Legal Practitioners, competent legal counseling to their specific factual situation.


Intellectual Property Protected!

This material is protected by International Intellectual Property Laws and Regulations. This material can therefore only be reproduced or re-distributed for non-profit educational purposes under the strict condition that our Authorship of this material is explicitly acknowledged, and our above Disclaimer Notice is prominently displayed.


 Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd. 


NB: This Legal Alert is a free educational material, for your general information and enlightenment ONLY. This Alert, by itself, does not create a Client/Attorney relationship. Recipients are therefore advised to seek professional legal counselling to their specific situations when they do arise. Questions, comments, criticisms, suggestions, new ideas, contributions, etc are always welcomed. This Legal Alert is protected by Intellectual Property Law and Regulations and is reproduced by Proshare Nigeria Limited under permission, for the Proshare online investment community, from Oserogho & Associates [ contactus@oseroghoassociates.com ]

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.



Related Legal Alerts

1.       Fire Safety Compliances and Regulations

2.      Admissibility Of Evidence As It Relates To Electronic Devises, Social Media And Forensic Science

3.      New Requirements For Registration Of Charges (Form CAC8) Takes Effect April 3, 2018

4.      Court Approves Website Seizure and Anton Piller Order Against Online Copyright Piracy Platform

5.      Hotels and Restaurants Consumption (Fiscalisation) Regulations

6.      Court Grants Injunction Restraining Lagos State From Enforcing New Consumption Tax Law

7.      The New Land Use Charge Law of Lagos State - Proshare

8.     Police Powers of Arrest and Civil Contracts

9.      Stakeholders harp on robust PPP, at 2017 BusinessDay Education Summit

10.  Corporate Governance and Directors' Remuneration - Proshare

11.   S. 306 of ISA 2007 and Whistleblowers in Nigeria - Proshare

12.  Stamp Duties on Bank Deposits and Transfers: Are There Unresolved Issues?

13.  IFRS 9 Standard Implementation: Building Organisational Capacity for Implementation Success

14.  Bank Charges: Role, Responsibilities and Rights

15.    Bank Charges & Recent Regulatory Guidelines

16.  Legal Update On The Implementation Of The Stamp Duties Act And The Rights Of Bank Customers

17.   How Recent Environmental, Waste and Effluent Law & Regulations Affect You

18.  Indonesia Issues New Regulation Regarding PLCs' Shareholding Reporting Obligations

19.  Contracts - Time Is Of The Essence 

20. Nigeria's new Immigration Regulations 2017 

21.  The Law, The Environment And Permissible Noise Levels  

22. Advancing the Role and Effectiveness of Audit Committees 

23. House Passes Federal Competition Commission Bill  

24. Registering a Business in Nigeria: Preliminary Considerations 

25.  PEBEC approves 60-day action plan on Doing Business in Nigeria 

26.  Annual Minimum Corporate Compliances  

27.  You've Registered Your Trademark, What Now? Tips on Maintaining Trademark Protection 

28. Why FGs Ban of Vehicle Imports Through Land Borders Makes Sense

29.  While Nigeria Dithers, 3 in 4 African Countries Improve Business Environment 

30. The Un-Enforceability of the Nigerian FRC’s Code of Corporate Governance



Related News