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Trade Unions

Trade Unions



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Published by simply_coool

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Published by: simply_coool on Jul 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lesson: 42
 Let us unionise! : Trade Unions
Topics to be covered:
Employers’ point of view: Criticism of trade unions
Motivation to join unions
Problems and weaknesses
Suggestions for healthy growth of unionism
Article: “Indian Trade Unions: Today and Beyond” By: Ernesto NoronhaHello Students!Today we will be discussing Trade unions and their role. We will also be discussing the problems and weaknesses and of course, how to overcome those weaknesses.Let us begin discussing the nature and functions of trade unions
What is your idea of a Union?We have discussed this term before, in the introductory lessons of Industrial Relations!It is indeed the collection of workers that is formed for demanding its rights and overallwelfare.We will be discussing the definition. Let us begin by discussing the nature of Tradeunions.
Nature and functions of Trade Unions
Trade union movement is an offshoot of industrialisation. The growth of modernindustrial organisations involving use of modern technology and employment of workershas been followed by growth of trade unions throughout the world.The workers feel threatened and I am sure you will agree that whenever there is somefear or threat, one comes closer. That applies to the Unions as well. The workers have thefear of being obsolete because of the increased use of technology. They form themselvesinto groups and feel that they can then not only overcome that fear but also fight better for their welfare.
 This phenomenon has not only been observed in advanced countries of the world, butalso in the developing economies like India.The emergence of trade unionism is spontaneous and inherent in the growth of capitalism. The origin of trade unionism lies in the industrial revolution, which disruptedthe older way of life and created a new society forged by the shop, the factory, the mineand the industry.Please note that wherever a union exists, top management cannot take unilateraldecisions. Management has to consult the union representatives while taking variousdecisions affecting labour such as wages, lay-off, transfer, discharge, etc. A trade union puts restriction on the discretion of employers for taking decisions involving welfare of employees. In certain organisations, unions have become so strong that they affect everyaspect of management. Now let us discuss the definition.
Definition of Trade Union
Section 2(h) of the Trade Unions Act, 1926 has defined a trade union as“Any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purposeof regulating the relations between workmen and employers, or between workmen andworkmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions onthe conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more tradeunions.”This definition is very exhaustive as it includes associations of both the workers andemployers and the federations of their associations. I hope you are not confused!Let me make this definition simpler for you.In this definition the relationships that have been talked about are both temporary and permanent. Please note that it applies to temporary workers as well.Then this definition talks about three relationships. They are relationship between the:Workmen and workmenWorkmen and employersEmployers and employers.Yes please don’t be surprised; it includes the relationship between the employers and theemployers as well!Let us look at another definition by Dale Yoder.
 Dale Yoder has defined trade union as a continuing long – term association of employeesformed and maintained for the specific purpose of advancing and protecting the interestsof members in their working relationships.He quotes: “A trade union is a continuous association of workers which is formed withthe purpose of protecting the interests of workers.” Now that is simple and sweet, sweet in the sense it is easy to understand.Let us see another one!According to Flippo “A labour union or trade union is an organisation of workers formedto promote, protect, and improve, through collective action, the social, economic, and political interests of its members”.I hope you have understood that……..If you haven’t, analysing this definition we can draw the features of trade Unions:
Features of trade unions:
I. It is an organisation formed by employees or workers.II. It is formed on a continuous basis. It is a permanent body and not a casual or temporary one.III. It is formed to protect and promote all kinds of interests –economic, political andsocial-of its members. The dominant interest with which a union is concerned is,however, economic.IV. It includes federations of trade unions also.V. It achieves its objectives through collective action and group effort.Having understood the features let us come on to the next topic for today and that isobjectives of Trade Unions that is why do workers organise themselves into unions?
Objectives of Trade Union
Workers organise themselves in the form of a union to achieve the following goals:a) To improve the economic lot of employees by securing for them better wages. b) To secure better working conditions for the workers.c) To secure bonus for the employees from the profit of the concern,

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this is really wonderful, keep it up. i want this pasted as well; the changing role of trade unions in the present day globalized economy
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