Building “Sound” Industrial Relations in Nigeria: The British and Organised Labour, 1940s to 1960
This paper examines measures taken by the British colonial administrationin Nigeria during the early years of the Cold War. I posit that anti-leftistmeasures against labour organisations were central to the success of thecolonial state’s policy of “sound” industrial relations in the workplace(private and public). Using primary documents from the British NationalArchives, the Annual Reports of the Department (later Ministry) of Labour,materials from the Modern Record and Labour Archives, and the NigerianNational Archives, the paper contextualizes British policy of anti-leftistpolicy towards labour unionists termed “sound industrial” relations. Itanalyses the creation and activities of the Department (later Ministry) ofLabour, and the overall implications of government measures on leftistintelligentsia in labour unions between 1945 and 1960. This is a historicalnarrative of the aspect of Nigerian labour union history hitherto understudied because of the closure of official records until recently.
Keywords: “Sound” Industrial Relations, Labour Union, Education, Antileftistpolicy, Decolonization, Nigeria