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HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDIndian trade union movement can be divided into three phases : The first phase falls between 1850 and 1900 during which the inception of trade unions took place. During this period of the growth of Indian Capitalist enterprises, the working and living conditions of the labour were poor and their working hours were long. Capitalists were only interested in their productivity and profitability. In addition to long working hours, their wages were low and general economic conditions were poor in industries. In order to regulate the working hours and other service conditions of the Indian textile labourers,The Indian Factories Act was enacted in 1881.
As a result, employment of child labour was prohibited. Mr. NM Lokhande organized people like Rickshawalas etc., prepareda study report on their working conditions and submitted it tothe Factory Labour Commission. The Indian Factory Act of1881 was amended in 1891 due to his efforts. Guided byeducated philanthropists and social workers like Mr.Lokhande, the growth of trade union movement was slow inthis phase. Many strikes took place in the two decadesfollowing 1880 in all industrial cities. These strikes taughtworkers to understand the power of united action even thoughthere was no union in real terms. Small associations likeBombay Mill-Hands Association came up.
The second phase of The Indian trade union movement falls between 1900 and 1947. This phase was characterized by the development of organized trade unions and political movements of the working class. It also witnessed the emergence of militant trade unionism. The First World War (1914-1918) and the Russian revolution of 1917 gave a new turn to the Indian trade union movement and organized efforts on part of the workers to form trade unions. In 1918, B P Wadia organized trade union movements with Textile mills in Madras. He served strike notice to them and workers appealed to Madras High Court because under „Common Law‟, strike is a breach of law. In 1919, Mahatma Gandhi suggested to let individual struggle be a Mass movement. In 1920, the First National Trade union organization (The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)) was established. Many of the leaders of this organization were leaders of the national Movement. In 1926, Trade union law came up with the efforts of Mr. N N Joshi that became operative from 1927.
Third phase began with the emergence of independent India (in 1947), and the Government sought the cooperation of the unions for planned economic development. The working class movement was also politicized along the lines of political parties. For instance Indian national trade Union Congress (INTUC) is the trade union arm of the Congress Party. The AITUC is the trade union arm of the Communist Party of India. Besides workers, white-collar employees, supervisors and managers are also organized by the trade unions, as for example in the Banking, Insurance and Petroleum industries.
INTRODUCTIONTrade union as per Trade Union Act 1926 – “ Anycombination formed primarily for the purpose ofregulating the relations between workmen and employersor workmen and workmen or employers and employers orfor imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of anytrade or business and includes any federation of two ormore trade unions.”From the above definition it is clear that Trade union isnot just an association of the workmen of a factory or atrade or a business but also can be formed by officersand managers. Trade union movement in India wasstarted and led by philanthropists and social organizationsand not by the workers.
Function Of Trade UnionsTrade unions are related to protect the rights and enhance thewelfare of the members in particular and of the working class ingeneral. According to the national commission on labour(NCL),the important functions of the trade unions are :- To secure for workers fair wages. To safeguard security of tenure and improved conditions of service. To improve opportunities for promotion and training. To improve working and living conditions.
To provide for educational,cultural and recreational facilities. To co-operate in and facilitate technological advance by broadening the understanding of workers for its underlying issues. To promote identity of interests of the workers with their industry. To offer responsive co-operation in improving levels of production and productivity, discipline and high standard of quality. To promote individual and collective welfare.
Trade Union Movement In IndiaTrade Union Movement In India had its germination in the last quarter of thenineteenth century, it was only in the first quarter of the nineteenth centurythat the trade union movement, as it is understood today, took its birth.N.M.Lokhande, who was a factory worker in Bombay, is regarded as thefounder of the organized labour movement in India. May day really in Mumbai
In India the Trade Union movement is generally divided on political lines.According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, trade unionshad a combined membership of 24,601,589 in 2002. As of 2008, there are 11Central Trade Union Organisations (CTUO) recognised by the Ministry ofLabour. AITUC rally in Alappuzha
Trade Union In IndiaThe Indian workforce consists of 430 million workers, growing 2%annually. The Indian labour markets consist of three sectors : The rural workers, who constitute about 60 per cent of the workforce. Organized sector, which employs 8 per cent of workforce, and The urban informal sector (which includes the growing software industry and other services, not included in the formal sector) which constitutes the rest 32 per cent of the workforce.
Central Trade Union OrganisationAt present there are twelve Central Trade Union Organizations in India: All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat (HMKP) Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) Indian Federation of Free Trade Unions (IFFTU) Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) National Front of Indian Trade Unions (NFITU) National Labour Organization (NLO) Trade Unions Co-ordination Centre (TUCC) United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) and United Trade Union Congress - Lenin Sarani (UTUC - LS)
Factors which contributed to growth World War 1st Influence of Political Leaders The International Labour Organisation The Russian Revolution The Trade Union Act
SOME IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS In 1920 the ALL INDIA TRADE UNION CONGRESS (AITUC) was established to coordinate and guide the activities of the individual unions. According to GIRI, the foundation of AITUC marked the first recognition of common interest of labour throughout the country. The registration of rights enhanced the status of unions in the eyes of the public as well as the employers. In this process, even unregistered unions benefited and the movement as a whole gained greater confidence of workers.
The conflicts between moderates and leftists within the AITUC resulted in a split in the organisation in 1929 with the leftists capturing the congress. The break away group formed the ALL INDIA TRADE UNION FEDERATION “with a realistic policy,programme and objectives”. The second split in the AITUC occurred in 1931 resulting in the formation of a new organisation called the RED TRADE UNION CONGRESS which in the next year united with the parent organisation. A section of labour leaders who supported the war effort of the British Government led by the radical democratic leader, M.N. ROY, seceded from the AITUC and formed a seperate central organisation called the Indian Federation of Labour.
The Federation which had the support of a large number of trade unions. The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) was started in 1947 under the patronage of the Indian National Congress. In the next year the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) was formed by the Praja Socialist Party and the United Trade Union Congress(UTUC) was formed in the following year by some radicals.
Limitations and problems of trade union Limited Representation Small – Size And Increasing Number Multiplicity Of Unions Inter-union And Intra-union Rivalries Political Infiltration
Outside Leadership Meagre Funds Low Income Illiteracy Lack Of Integrity Unhealthy Attitude Of Employers
Registration of Trade Union Trade union in India are regulated by the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926 amended from time to time. The trade union act lays down the procedure for the registration of trade unions and their rights and liabilities. Any 7 or more members of a trade union may, by subscribing their names to the rules of the trade un ion and otherwise complying with the provisions of this act with respect to registration, apply for the registration of the trade union under this act. Every application for the registration of a trade union shall be made to the registrar, and shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the trade union, and provide all other particulars required by the act.
RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF REGISTERED UNIONS The act lays down the rights and liabilities of registered trade unions. Some of the important rights and liabilities of registered unions are: The general funds and political funds of a registered union shall not be spent on any other objects than those specified in the act. No office-bearer or member of a registered trade union shall be liable to punishment under sub-section (2) of section 120-B. No suit or other legal proceeding shall be liable maintainable in any civil court against any registered trade union or any office- bearer or member thereof in respect of any act done in contemplation.
The accounts books of a registered trade union and the list of members thereof shall open to any inspection by an office bearer. A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being a member of, the executive or any other office-bearer of a registered trade union if: 1. He has not attained the age of 18 years 2. He has been convicted by a court in India of any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced to imprisonment, unless a period of 5 yrs has elapsed since his release. 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 provision of sec-25,change its name.
Any two or more registered union may become amalgamated together as one trade union with or without the dissolution or division of the funds of such trade unions or either or any of them, provided that the votes of at least one-half of the numbers of each or every such trade union entitled to vote are recorded, and that at least 60% of the votes recorded are in favour of the proposal. A registered trade union shall send to the Registrar a properly audited annual statement of all receipts and expenditure in the prescribed form within the prescribed time. A copy of every alteration made in rules of a registered trade union shall be sent to the Registrar within 15 days of making of the alteration.
AMENDMENTS A bill to amend the trade union act – the trade union amendment bill,2000 – was passed by the rajya sabha and was sent for the consideration of the lok sabha. No trade union of workmen shall be registered unless at least 10% or 100%. Registered trade unions shall at all times continue less than 10% or 100 members. All office bearers of a registered trade union except not more than 1/3 of the total number.
SUMMARY Generates in 1st quarter of 19th century Trade Union Act 1926 Political and social impact Limitations and problems