TEXTILE, GARMENT AND TAILORING SENIOR STAFF ASSOCU OF NIGERIA AND MANAGEMENT OF NIGERIATEXTILE MILLS LIMITED (NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT) HON. JUSTICE (CHIEF) P.A. ATILADE - PRESIDENT M.A. BORISADE, ESQ. - MEMBER SUIT NO: - NIC/2/87 DATE OF JUDGMENT - TUESDAY, 31ST MAY, 1988. LABOUR LAW - Trade dispute - Issue in dispute - Law relevant to- Duty on court to take cognizance of. LABOUR LAW - Trade union - Membership of management: Managers restructured as senior staff -members of management structure are precluded from joining any trade union. TRADE DISPUTE - Issue in dispute - Law relevant to - Duty on court to take cognizance of. TRADE UNION LAW - Trade union - Membership of management structure- Managers restructured as senior staff -members of management structure and precluded from joining any trade union. ISSUES: 1. Whether members of staff of the Respondent who are managers and affected by the six-grade structure are also members of the Appellant. 2. Whether the Respondent bound by the agreement on the six-grade structure and therefore has a duty to implement the six-grade structure. FACTS: The employers' association in the textile and allied industries, of which the Respondent was a member, entered into a procedural agreement with the Appellant on the 28th September, 1979 by which the employers' association recognized the Appellants as the sole representative and negotiating body for all senior staff members of the various -in the industry. The agreement defined "senior staff as all senior employees, by whatever designation, who were formally outside the check-off operation of the junior workers' union but who did not participate in management meetings as heads of departments. Subsequently, the employers' association and the Appellant by their National Joint Industrial Negotiating Council agreed on a six-grade senior staff structure for adoption by all association members. The Appellant alleged that the Respondent refused to implement the agreement in respect of its management staff and declared a trade dispute. At the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), a consent agreement was reached between the parties as a result of which the Respondent restructured its assistant managers as Senior Staff Grade IV and their managers (including heads of departments) as Senior Staff Grade VI. The post of deputy manager did not exist in the Respondent. The Respondent informed the Appellant that the Grades IV, V and VI were management staff. Dissatisfied, the Appellant lodged an objection to the implementation of the Industrial Arbitration Panel award by the Respondent, and it was referred to the National Industrial Court. HELD: (Dismissing the appeal): 1. On Whether management staff can be member of trade union - By section 3(3) and (4) of the Trade Unions (Amendment) Decree No.86 of 1979, no staff recognized as projection of management within the management structure of any organization shall be a member of or hold office in a trade union. In this case, the court took cognizance of the provisions of the law in considering the issue in dispute before it, and found that the provision in the Procedural Agreement that “all senior staff members” of the Respondent "by whatever designation" other than those who “participate in management meetings as Heads of Departments” shall be members of the senior staff association, was in conflict with the said law. The provisions of the law, is supreme over the procedural agreement. 2. On Whether restructuring of managers by employer alter fact that they are management staff- The restructuring of grades of managers into senior staff grades by an employer does not alter the fact that the affected senior staff belongs to the management structure of the employer and are by law, precluded from being members of any trade union.