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Joy Nkatha Kubai

MBA Student, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya


This research paper analyzed the effects that trade unions have on industrial relations particularly within the public sector in Kenya. Further this paper investigated extent to which the said effects influence industrial relations in the public sector. This research is premised on a study of Kenya Ports Authority as one of the largest state corporation in Kenya with the highest number of unionized employees. Stratified proportionate random sampling technique was used to select the sample.  From each stratum, the study used simple random sampling to select 73 respondents from Kenya Ports Authority in their various departments. Primary data was gathered using questionnaires. Descriptive analysis was used to generate answers to the research problem. Qualitative data analysis method was also applied in order to gain a better understanding and possibly enable more insightful interpretation of the results from the analysis of the data that was gathered using open ended questions. The study found there was a positive correlation between industrial relations and reward and benefits, working environment, performance pay base and staff training. Further the study established that the four independent variables studied, explain 84.1% of the industrial relations. However there are other effects of trade unions on industrial relations that were not studied contributing to 15.9%. The study finally, showed that performance pay base as a direct effect of trade unions has the greatest influence on industrial relations within Kenya Ports Authority. This led to the conclusion that trade unions still have a role to play in modern industrial relations in Kenyan parastatals. Further that the effects of trade unions have a great significance to the industrial relations within the public sector.

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