Trade Union Act
It includes federation of two or more trade unions. [section2(h)]. Thus, technically, there can be ‘union’ of employers also, though, almost universally, the term ‘trade union’ is associated with union of workmen or employees. ‘Trade dispute’ means any dispute between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers. However, it should be connected with employment or non-employment, or the conditions of labour, of any person. Workman’ means all persons employed in trade or industry, whether or not in the employment of the employer with whom the trade dispute arises. [section 2(g)]. Any seven or more members of a Trade Union can apply for registration, by subscribing their names to rules of trade Union and complying with provisions of the Act for registration of Trade Union. [section 4(1)]. Right and liabilities of a Registered Trade Union are specified in section 15.
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Registration of trade union – Appropriate Government shall appoint a person as Registrar of Trade Unions for each State. [section 3(1)]. Application for registration is required to be made signed by at least 7 members. Application should be accompanied by rules of trade union. and other required details. [section 5]. Rules should contain provisions as prescribed in section 6. Registrar shall register Trade Union and enter particulars in the register maintained by him. [section 8].
Trade Union will have a registered office. [section12] Other provisions – Other important provisions are as follows – Trade Union is a body corporate – Registered Trade Union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered. It will have perpetual succession and a common seal. It can acquire both movable and immovable property in its own name and contract in its own name. [section 13]. Fund for political purposes – Trade Union can constitute separate fund for political purposes. [section16].
Executive Committee and Office Bearers of Union – The management of trade union will be conducted by ‘executive’. It is a body by whatever name called. [section 2(a)]. Thus, controlling body of Trade Union may be called as ‘Executive Body’ or ‘Governing Body’ or ‘Managing Committee’ or any such name. The members of the executive body are termed as ‘Officer Bearers’. [section 2(b)]. At least 50% of office bearers of registered trade union shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the trade union is connected. [section 22].
Annual Returns – Every registered trade union will prepare a general statement of assets and liabilities of trade Union as on 31st December. The statement will be sent to Registrar along with information about change of office bearers during the year. [section28(1)]. Immunity from provision of criminal conspiracy in trade disputes – Office bearer of a trade union shall not be liable to punishment u/s 120B(2) of Indian Penal Code in respect of agreement made between members for purpose of object of trade union, unless the agreement is agreement to commit an offence. section 17]. Thus, office bearer of trade union cannot be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy in respect of agreement relating to object of trade union. Immunity from civil suit – A civil suit or other legal proceeding is not maintainable against any registered trade union or office bearer in furtherance of trade union activity on the ground that (a) such act induces some person to break a contract of employment or (b) It is in interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person. section 18(1)]. Registration does not mean recognition – Registration and recognition of Union by an employer are independent issues. Registration of Trade Union with Registrar has nothing to do with its recognition in a particular factory/company. Recognition of Trade Union is generally a matter of agreement between employer and trade union. In States like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, there are specific legal provisions for recognition of a trade union. Definition Section 1: Short title, extent and commencement It extends to the whole of India. Section 2: Definitions Appropriate Government: For the trade unions whose objects are not confined to one state, the appropriate government will be the Central Government, for others it’ll be the State Government. Trade dispute: It means any dispute between employers and, workmen or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers which is connected with the employment, or non-employment or the conditions of labour, of any person.
Workmen: Means all persons employed in trade or industry whether or not in the employment of the employer with whom the trade dispute arises. Trade Union: It means combination whether temporary or permanent formed primarily for the purpose of –regulating the relations –for imposing restrictive condition on the conduct of any trade or business, –can be between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers It can include any federation of two or more
Trade Unions. Section 3: Appointment of Registrars The appropriate Government appoints a person to be the Registrar of Trade Unions for each State. It may also appoint Additional and Deputy Registrars of Trade Unions. Section 4: Mode of registration Any seven or more members of a Trade Union may apply for registration of the Trade Union under this Act: –by subscribing their names to the rules of the Trade Union –and by complying with the provisions of this Act with respect to registration.
An application for the registration of a Trade Union shall not become invalid merely for the reason that at any time after the date of the application, but before the registration of the Trade Union some of the applications (not exceeding half of the total number of the persons who made the application) have ceased to be members of the Trade Union. Section 5: Application for registration Application for registration of a Trade Union shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by: –copy of the rules of the Trade Union –statement of the following particulars, Namely :- The names, occupations and addresses of the members making the application. •The name of the Trade Union and the address of its head office. Where a Trade Union has been in existence for more than one year before the making of an application for its registration it needs to submit a statement of the assets and liabilities held by it. Section 6: Provisions to be contained in the rules of Trade Union A Trade Union shall not be entitled to registration under this Act, unless the executive is constituted in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules provided for following matters: the name of the Trade Union –the object for which the Trade Union has been established –the purposes for which the general funds of the Trade Union shall be applicable. –The maintenance of a list of the members of the Trade Union and adequate facilities for the inspection thereof by the members of the Trade Union; –The admission of ordinary members who shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected, and also the admission of the number of honorary or temporary members as to form the executive of the Trade Union
The payment of a subscription by members of the Trade Union which shall be not less than twenty five paisa per month per member •The conditions under which any member shall be entitled to any benefit assured by the rules and under which any fine or forfeiture may be imposed on members; •The manner in which the members of the executive and the other members of the Trade Union shall be appointed and removed;•The safe custody of the funds of the Trade Union, and annual audit, in such manner as may be prescribed, of the account books by the act and members of the TradeUnion; and •The manner in which the Trade Union may be dissolved.
Section 7: Power to call for further particulars and to require alteration of name •The Registrar can call for further information for the purpose of checking the compliance of the application with respect to Sec 5and Sec 6 of the Trade Union Act. –He may refuse to register the Trade Union until such information is supplied. •If the name under which a Trade Union is proposed to be registered is identical or it nearly resembles with that of any other existing Trade Union, the Registrar shall require the persons applying for registration to alter the name of the Trade Union stated in the application.
Section 8: Registration The Registrar, on being satisfied that the Union has complied with all the requirements of this Act in regard to registration, shall register the Trade Union. Note: This section is mandatory. The Registrar cannot refuse to register a Trade Union if the application for registration complies with the technical requirement as laid down in this Act. Section 9: Certificate of Registration
The Registrar registering a Trade Union under Section 8, shall issue a certificate of registration which shall be conclusive that the Trade Union has been duly registered under this Act. Section 10: Cancellation of Registration A certificate of registration of a Trade Union may be withdrawn or cancelled by the Registrar: –On the application of the Trade Union –If the Registrar is satisfied that the certificate has been obtained by fraud or mistake –or that the Trade Union has ceased to exist or has willfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision of this Act or allowed any rule to continue in force which is inconsistent with any such provision, or has rescinded any rule providing for any matter, provision for which is required by this Section •Provided that not less than two months previous notice in writing specifying the ground on which it is proposed to withdraw or cancel the certificate shall be given by the Registrar to the Trade Union before the certificate is withdrawn or cancelled Section 11: Appeal
Any person aggrieved by any refusal of the Registrar to register a Trade Union or by the withdrawal or cancellation of a certificate of registration may appeal to the prescribed courts. The Appellate Court may dismiss the appeal, or pass an order directing the Registrar to register the Union and to issue a certificate of registration or setting aside the order for withdrawal or cancellation of the certificate, as the case may be, and the registrar shall comply with such order. Section 12: Registered office All communications and notice to a registered Trade Union may be addressed to its registered office. Notice of any change in the address of the head office shall be given within fourteen days of such change to the Registrar in writing. Section 13: Incorporation of registered Trade Unions Every registered Trade Union: –shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered –shall have perpetual succession and a common seal –power to acquire and hold both movable and immovable property –it can, by the said name sue and be sued. Section 15: Objects on which general funds maybe spent •The payment of salaries, allowances and expenses to office bearers of the Trade Union. The payment of expenses for the administration of the Trade Union including audit of the accounts of the general funds. •The compensation to members for loss arising out of trade disputes; •Allowance to members or their dependents on account of death, old age, sickness, accidents or unemployment of such members; •The provision of educational, social or religious benefits for members or for the dependents of members; •The upkeep of a periodical published mainly for the purposes of discussing questions affecting employers or workmen;
Section 16: Constitution of a separate fund for political purposes A registered Trade Union may constitute a separate fund, from which payments may be made, for the promotion of the civic and political interest of its members. –No member shall be compelled to contribute to the fund. –Member who does not contribute to the said fund shall not be excluded from any benefits of the Trade Union –Contribution to the said fund shall not be made a condition for admission to the Trade Union. Section 20: Right to inspect books of Trade Union
The account books of a registered Trade Union and the list of members shall be open to inspection by any member of the Trade Union. Section 21: Rights of minors to membership of Trade Union Any person who has attained the age of fifteen years may be a member of registered Trade Union subject to any rules of the Trade Union to the contrary. Section 21A: Disqualification of office bearers of Trade Union A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being a member of the executive or any other office-bearer or registered Trade Union if He has not attained the age of eighteen years; –He has been convicted by a Court in India of any offence involving immorality and sentenced to imprisonment, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release. Section 22: Proportion of office-bearers to be concerned with the industry Not less than one half of the total number of the office bearers of every registered Trade Union shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected. Section 23: Change of name
Any registered Trade Union may, with the consent of not less than two-thirds of the total number of its members and subject to the provisions of Section 25 change its name. Section 24: Amalgamation of Trade Union Any two or more registered Trade Unions may become amalgamated together as one Trade Union provided that the votes of at least one-half of the members of each such Trade Union is recorded, and that at least sixty percent of the votes recorded are in favour of the proposal. Section 25: Notice of change of name or amalgamations
Notice in writing of every change of name and every amalgamation shall be sent to the Registrar, signed, –in the case of change of name, by the Secretary and by seven members of the Trade Union changing its name –in the case of an amalgamation by the Secretary and by seven members of each and every Trade Union which is amalgamating. Section 26: Effects of change in name and of amalgamation The change in the name of a registered Trade Union shall not effect –any rights or obligation of the Trade Union –or render defective any legal proceeding by or against the Trade Union, –legal proceeding may be continued in its new name.
An amalgamation of two or more registered Trade Unions shall not prejudice any right of any such Trade Unions or any right of accreditor or any of them. Section 27: Dissolution When a registered Trade Union is dissolved, notice for the dissolution signed by seven members and by the Secretary of the Trade Union shall, within fourteen days of the dissolution, be sent to the Registrar. Where the dissolution of a registered Trade Union has been registered and the rules of the Trade Union do not provide for the distribution and funds, the Registrar shall divide the funds amongst the member in such manner as may be prescribed.
Section 28: Returns Every registered Trade Union is required to send a general statement, of all receipts and expenditure audited in the prescribed manner, to the Registrar annually on or before such date as may be prescribed of during the year. Central trade union recognition •The union should have five lakh membership •Must have members from at least four states Section 29: Power to make regulations The appropriate Government may make regulations for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.
Such regulations may provided for all or any of the following matters: –The manner in which Trade Union and the rules of Trade Unions shall be registered and the fees payable on registration; –The transfer of registration in the case of any registered Trade Union which has changed its head office from one State to another; –The manner in which, and the qualifications of persons by whom, accounts of registered Trade Unions or of any class of such Unions shall be audited; Section 30: Publication of regulations The Power to make regulations conferred by section 29 is subject to the condition of the regulations being made after previous publications. •Regulations so made shall be published in the Official Gazette and on such publication shall have effect as if enacted in this Act. Conclusion * There should be one union per Industry * The union officials should be paid * There should be development of internal leadership * Trade union should be recognized * There should be improvement in financial conditions. The judiciary should see the demands of the workers to check whether the demands by the workers are within the limits.