Union Power in the Nigerian Textile Industry
Labor Regime and Adjustment
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Nigeria, once a resourceful regional power, has been caught in a spiral of economic and political decay. This once-promising nation is now seen as an international pariah, partly as a result of the gross human rights violations of its government, but largely because of the failure to generate a political leadership capable of containing and reversing rather than aggravating the process of decline. Union Power in the Nigerian Textile Industry covers developments in Nigeria during two trying decades of deepening economic and political crisis. It is not, however, an additional tale of decay. It highlights the remarkable progress which has been achieved, in spite of this decline, in industrial adjustment, institution building, and conflict regulation. Gunilla Andrae and Bjorn Beckman follow Nigeria's leading manufacturing sector, the textile industry, from the heyday of the oil boom through successive phases of adjustment and liberalization, suggesting that industrialization is still very much on the African agenda. The focus is on the trade unions, their role in industrial restructuring and their ability to defend workers' interests and rights. Union Power in the Nigerian Textile Industry examines the successful institutionalization of a union-based labor regime, defying global trends to the contrary. The authors explore the origins of union power in the national and local political economy, pointing to the mediation between the militant self-organization of the workers and the strategies of state and capital. They draw on extensive field work, interviews with managers, unionists and workers, and massive documentation from internal union sources.