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Trade Unions in India and the World
Done ByRohan Kapadia T.Y E – 3287
Trade Union in India and World
A trade union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas such as wages, hours, and working conditions. Basically a trade union bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates with employers.
The History The origins of trade unions' existence can be traced from the eighteenth century, where the rapid expansion of industrial society drew women, children, rural workers, and immigrants to the work force in larger numbers and in new roles. This pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labor spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings, and would later be an important arena for the development of trade unions. unions were illegal for many years in most countries. There were severe penalties for attempting to organize unions, up to and including execution. Despite this, unions were formed and began to acquire political power, eventually resulting in a body of labor law that not only legalized organizing efforts, but codified the relationship between employers and those employees organized into unions. Even after the legitimization of trade unions there was opposition. The right to join a trade union is mentioned in article 23, subsection 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which also states in article 20, subsection 2 that "No one may be compelled to belong to an association". Prohibiting a person from joining or forming a union, as well as forcing a person to do the same (e.g. "closed shops" or "union shops", see below), whether by a government or by a business, is generally considered a human rights abuse. Similar allegations can be leveled if an employer discriminates based on trade union membership.
Unions in the 21st Century
Structure and politics Union structures, politics, and legal status vary greatly from country to country. For specific country details see below.
A rally of the trade union UNISON in Oxford during a strike on 2006-03-28. Unions may organize a particular section of skilled workers (craft unionism), a crosssection of workers from various trades (general unionism), or attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry (industrial unionism). These unions are often divided into "locals", and united in national federations. These federations themselves will affiliate with Internationals, such as the International Trade Union Confederation. In many countries, a union may acquire the status of a "juristic person" (an artificial legal entity), with a mandate to negotiate with employers for the workers it represents. In such cases, unions have certain legal rights, most importantly the right to engage in collective bargaining with the employer (or employers) over wages, working hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. The inability of the parties to reach an agreement may lead to industrial action, culminating in either strike action or management lockout, or binding arbitration. In extreme cases, violent or illegal activities may develop around these events. In other circumstances, unions may not have the legal right to represent workers, or the right may be in question. This lack of status can range from non-recognition of a union to political or criminal prosecution of union activists and members, with many cases of violence and deaths having been recorded both historically and contemporarily. Unions may also engage in broader political or social struggle. Social Unionism encompasses many unions that use their organizational strength to advocate for social policies and legislation favorable to their members or to workers in general. As well, unions in some countries are closely aligned with political parties. Unions are also delineated by the service model and the organizing model. The service model union focuses more on maintaining worker rights, providing services, and resolving disputes. Alternately, the organizing model typically involves full-time
union organizers, who work by building up confidence, strong networks, and leaders within the workforce; and confrontational campaigns involving large numbers of union members. Many unions are a blend of these two philosophies, and the definitions of the models themselves are still debated. Although their political structure and autonomy varies widely, union leaderships are usually formed through democratic elections. Some research, such as that conducted by the ACIRRT, argues that unionized workers enjoy better conditions and wages than those who are not unionized. In Britain, the perceived left-leaning nature of trade unions has resulted in the formation of a reactionary right-wing trade union called Solidarity which is supported by the far-right BNP.
Trade Union in India
Preamble[25th March, 1926] An act to provide for the registration of Trade Unions and in certain respects to define the law relating to registered Trade Unions.
The Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 Preamble MAHARASHTRA ACT NO. I OF 1972. An Act to provide for the recognition of trade unions for facilitating collective bargaining for certain undertakings, to state their rights, and obligations; to confer certain powers on unrecognised unions; to provide for declaring certain strikes and lock-outs as illegal strikes and lock-outs; to define and provide for the prevention of certain unfair labour practices; to constitute courts (as independent machinery) for carrying out the purposes of according recognition to trade unions and for enforcing the provisions relating to unfair practices; and to provide for matters connected with the purposes aforesaid. WHEREAS, by Government Resolution, Industries and Labour Department, No. IDA. 1367-LAB-II, dated the 14th February 1968, the Government of Maharashtra appointed a Committee called "the Committee on Unfair Labour Practices" for defining certain activities of employers and workers and their organisations which should be treated as unfair labour practices and for suggesting action which should be taken against employers or workers, or their organisations, for
engaging in such unfair labour practices; AND WHEREAS, after taking into consideration the report of the Committee Government is of opinion that it is expedient to provide for the recognition of trade unions for facilitating collective bargaining for certain undertakings; to state their rights and obligations; to confer certain powers on unrecognised unions; to provide for declaring certain strikes and lock-outs as illegal strikes and lock-outs; to define and provide for the prevention of certain unfair labour practices; to constitute courts (as independent machinery) for carrying out the purposes of according recognition to trade unions and for enforcing provisions relating to unfair practices; and to provide for matters connected with the purposes aforesaid; It is hereby enacted in the Twenty-second Year of the Republic of India as follows :-
3. DEFINITIONS. - In this Act, unless the context requires otherwise, - (1) "Bombay Act" means the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, Bom. XI of 1947; (2) "Central Act" means the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, XIV of 1947; (3) "concern" means any premises including the precincts thereof where any industry to which the Central Act applies is carried on; (4) "Court" for the purposes of Chapters VI and VII means the Industrial Court, or as the case may be, the Labour Court : (5) "employee" in relation to an industry to which the Bombay Act for the time being applies, means an employee as defined in clause (13) of section 3 of the Bombay Act; and in any other case, means a workman as defined in clause (s) of section 2 of the Central Act; (6) "employer" in relation to an industry to which the Bombay Act applies, means an employer as defined in clause (14) of section 3 of the Bombay Act; and in any other case, means an employer as defined in clause (g) of section 2 of the Central Act; (7) "Industry" in relation to an industry to which the Bombay Act applies means an industry as defined in clause (19) of section 3 of the Bombay Act, and in any other case, means an industry as defined in clause (j) of section 2 of the Central Act; (8) "Industrial Court" means an Industrial Court constituted under section 4; (9) "Investigating Officer" means an officer appointed under section 8; (10) "Labour Court" means a Labour Court constituted under section 6; (11) "member" means a person who is an ordinary member of a union, and has paid a subscription to the union of not less than 50 paise per calender month : Provided that, no person shall at any time be deemed to be a member, if his
subscription is in arrears for a period of more than three calendar months during the period of a six months immediately preceding such time, and the expression "membership" shall be construed, accordingly. Explanation : A subscription for a calender month shall, for the purpose of this clause, be deemed to be in arrears, if such subscription is not paid within three months after the end of the calender months in respect of which it is due; (12) "order" means an order of the Industrial or Labour Court; (13) "recognised union" means a union which has been issued a certificate of recognition under Chapter III; (14) "Schedule" means a Schedule to this Act; (15) "undertaking" for the purposes of Chapter III, means any concern in industry to be one undertaking for the purpose of that Chapter : Provided that, the State Government may notify a group of concerns owned by the same employer in any industry to be undertaking for the purpose of that Chapter; (16) "unfair labour practices" means unfair labour practice as defined in section 26; (17) "union" means a trade union of employees, which is registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926; (18) words and expressions used in this Act and not defined therein, but defined in the Bombay Act, shall, in relation to an industry to which the provisions of the Bombay Act apply, have the meanings assigned to them by the Bombay Act; and in other case, shall have the meanings assigned to them by the Central Act.
Trade Unionism has made its headway owing to growth of industrialisation and capitalism. Trade Unionism asserts collectively the rights of the workers. In industrially advanced countries trade unionism has made a great impact on the social, political and economic life. India, being an agricultural country, trade unionism is restricted to industrial areas and it is still in a stage of growth. The earliest known trade unions in India were the Bombay Millhand's Association formed in 1890, the Amalgamated Society of railway servants of India and Burma formed in 1897, Printers' Union formed in Calcutta in 1905, the Bombay Postal Union which was formed in 1907, the Kamgar Hitwardhak Sabha Bombay formed in 1910. Trade Union movement began in India after the end of First World War. After a decade following the end of First World War the pressing need for the coordination of the activities of the individual unions was recognised. Thus, the All India Trade Union Congress was formed in 1920 on a National Basis, the Central Labour Board, Bombay and the Bengal Trades Union Federation were formed in 1922. The All India Railwaymen's Federation was formed in the same year and this was followed by the creation of both Provincial and Central federations of unions of postal and telegraph
employees. The origin of the passing of a Trade Unions Act in India was the historic Buckingham Mill case of 1940 in which the Madras High Court granted an interim injunction against the Strike Committee of the Madras Labour Union forbidding them to induce certain workers to break their contracts of employment by refusing to return to work. Trade Union leaders found that they were liable to prosecution and imprisonment for bona fide union activities and it was felt that some legislation for the protection of trade union was necessary. In March, 1921, Shri N. M. Joshi, then General Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress, successfully moved a resolution in the Central Legislative Assembly recommending that Government should introduce legislation for the registration and protection of trade unions. Opposition from employers to the adoption of such a measure was, however, so great that it was not untill 1926 that the Indian Trade Unions Act was passed. The Indian Trade Unions Bill, 1925 was introduced in the Central Legislative Assembly to provide for the registration of Trade Unions and in certain respects to define the law relating to registered Trade Unions in Provinces of India. In India the Trade Union movement is generally divided on political lines. According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, trade unions had a combined membership of 24,601,589 in 2002. As of 2008, there are 11 Central Trade Union Organisations (CTUO) recognised by the Ministry of Labour. This Bill has been prescribed in response to the following Resolution which was adopted by the Legislative Assembly on 1st March, 1924 "This Assembly recommends to the Governor-General in Council that he should take steps to introduce, as soon as practicable, in the Indian Legislature, such legislation as may be necessary for the registration of Trade Unions. The question was examined in detail by the Government of India and local Governments were consulted and public opinion was invited. In the light of opinions received a draft Bill was prepared and published in September, 1924. The Government of India, after considering the criticisms received on that Bill, see no ground for modifying the general principles underlying the Bill, and except for minor alterations, the present Bill is a reproduction of the Bill previously published. The general scheme of the Bill is that a Trade Union making the necessary application will, on compliance with certain stated conditions designed to ensure that the Union is a bona fide Trade Union, and that adequate safeguards are provided for the rights of its members, be entitled to registration. The Union and its members will thereupon receive protection in certain cases in respect of both civil and criminal liability. No restriction is placed upon the objects which a registered Trade Union may pursue, but the expenditure of its funds must be limited to specified Trade Union purposes. The legal position of Trade Unions which do not register will be unaffected by the Bill. The Indian Trade Unions Bill, 1925 having been passed by the Legislature received its assent on 25th March, 1926. It came into force on 1st June, 1927 as the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926 (16 of 1926). By section 3 of the Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Act, 1964 (38 of 1964) the word "Indian" has been omitted and now it is known as THE TRADE UNIONS ACT, 1926 (16 of 1926).
All India Central Council of Trade Unions All India Trade Union Congress All India United Trade Union Centre Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh Centre for Indian Trade Unions Hind Mazdoor Sabha Indian National Trade Union Congress Labour Progressive FederationSEWA Trade Union Coordination Committee United Trade Union Congress
Communist Party of India (MarxistLeninist) Liberation Communist Party of India Socialist Unity Centre of India Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Communist Party of India (Marxist) socialists Indian National Congress Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam All India Forward Bloc Revolutionary Socialist Party
Other trade union centres (incomplete list)
Akhil Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (Akhil Bharatiya Sena) All India Centre of Trade Unions (Marxist Communist Party of India (United)) All India Federation of Trade Unions (marxist-leninists) Andhra Pradesh Federation of Trade Unions (Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)) Anna Thozhil Sanga Peravai (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (Shiv Sena) Bharatiya Mazdoor Sabha (Provisional Central Committee, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)) Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat (Janata Dal (United)) Indian Confederation of Labour Indian Federation of Trade Unions (Communist Party of India (MarxistLeninist) New Democracy) Kerala Trade Union Congress
(Kerala Congress, KTUC(B) belongs to KC(B), KTUC(M) belongs to KC(M), etc.) Maharashtra General Kamgar Union (Kamgar Aghadi) New Trade Union Initiative Pattali Trade Union (Pattali Makkal Katchi) Socialist Trade Union Centre (SNDP) Swatantra Thozhilali Union (Indian Union Muslim League) Telugu Nadu Trade Union Council (Telugu Desam Party) Trade Union Centre of India (Communist Party of India (MarxistLeninist)) United Trade Union Congress (Bolshevik) (Revolutionary Socialist Party (Bolshevik)) United Trade Union Congress (Marxist) (Revolutionary Socialist Party (Marxist))
REGISTRATION OF TRADE UNIONS Registration of a trade union is not compulsory but is desirable since a registered trade union enjoys certain rights and privileges under the Act. Minimum seven workers of an establishment (or seven employers) can form a trade union and apply to the Registrar for it registration. The application for registration should be in the prescribed form and accompanied by the prescribed fee, a copy of the rules of the union signed by at least 7 members, and a statement containing (a) the names, addresses and occupations of the members making the application, (b) the name of the trade union and the addresses of its head office, and(c) the titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of its office bearers. If the union has been in existence for more than a year, then a statement of its assets and liabilities in the prescribed form should be submitted along with the application. The registrar may call for further information for satisfying himself that the application is complete and is in accordance with the provisions, and that the proposed name does not resemble On being satisfied with all the requirements, the registrar shall register the trade union and issue a certificate of registration, which shall be conclusive evidence of its registration.
LEGAL STATUS OF A REGISTERED TRADE UNION A registered trade union is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal. It can acquire, hold sell or transfer any movable or immovable property and can be a party to contracts. It can sue and be sued in its own name No civil suit or other legal proceeding can be initiated against a registered trade union in respect of any act done in furtherance of a trade dispute under certain conditions. No agreement between the members of a registered trade union shall be void or voidable merely on the ground that any of its objects is in restraint of trade. APPOINTMENT OF OFFICE BEARERS At least 50% of the office bearers of a union should be actually engaged or employed in the industry with which the trade union is concerned, and the remaining 50% or less can be outsiders such as Lawyers, politicians, social workers etc. To be appointed as an office bearer or executive of a registered trade union, a person must have a.attained the age of 18 years; and
not been convicted of any affiance involving moral turpitude and sentenced to imprisonment, or a period of at least 5 years has elapsed since his release.
Dissolution - (1) 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 and shall be registered by him if he is satisfied the dissolution has been effected in accordance with the rules of the Trade Union, and the dissolution shall have effect from the date of such regulation. (2) 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 of the Trade Union on dissolution, the Registrar shall divide the funds amongst the member in such manner as may be prescribed.
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