WHAT IS A TRADE UNION?A trade union or labour union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.
WHy WAS TRADE UNION AcT 1926 AmENDEDThe Trade Unions Act 1926 has been amended from time to time and the most important being the Trade Unions (Amendment) Act, 2001. This Act has been enacted in order to bring more transparency and to provide greater support to trade unionism in India.
All office bearers of a registered trade union, except not more than one-third of the total number of office bearers or five, whichever is less, shall be persons actually engaged or employed in the establishment or industry with which the trade union is connected.Minimum rate of subscription by members of the trade union is fixed at one rupee per annum for rural workers, three rupees per annum for workers in other unorganised sectors and 12 rupees per annum in all other cases. The employees who have been retired or have been retrenched shall not be construed as outsiders for the purpose of holding an office in the trade union concerned.For the promotion of civic and political interest of its members, unions are authorized to set up separate political funds.
AmENDmENT Of SEcTION 9.-After section 9 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely:- "9A. Minimum requirement about membership of a Trade Union.-A registered Trade Union of workmen shall at all times continue to have not less than ten per cent. or one hundred of the workmen, whichever is less, subject to a minimum of seven, engaged or em loyed in an establishment or industry with which it is connected, as its members..
cASE LAWThe function of registrar to register the trade union was fully discussed in Re. Indian steam navigation workers union, AIR 1936 Cal. 57. In this case employees of all the inland steamer services in the province of W. Bengal decided at a meeting to form a union in the name of "inland steam navigation workers union" An application was filed before the registrar of trade unions for its registration. An application was filed before the registrar of trade unions for its registration. But the registrar refused the union onThe ground that Ii) the rules and the constitution of the proposed union for all practical purposes are identical, with an existing union, the principal officers are common to both and therefore the present application is an attempt to have the union which was already registered, (ii) few days before the application was filed, the general secretary of the union addressed the government of Bengal in a letter stated that he had been directed but the general body of Indian steam navigation workers union formerly known as RSN & IGN. Rly.
Workers union, to approach the government and request that the notification declaring the RSN & Rly. Workers union as unlawful association, might be withdrawn, (iii) since the old union was declared unlawful by a notification under section 16 of criminal law amendment act, 1908, the proposed union which is nothing but old union with a new name, and hence it also an unlawful association. In an appeal to Calcutta High court, it was held as follows:1.The registrar appears to have acted on a letter written by the secretary to the government, without giving the appellant any notice of it or without giving them any opportunity of dealing with the statement therein set out. Such an Opportunity ought to have been given before the registrar considered that letter if indeed he ought to have considered that letter at all.
cASE LAW In the case of Trilok Nath Tripathi v. Allahabad Division bench, A.I.R. 1957 all 234, it was observed that section 6 requires that no registration can be allowed unless certain conditions given in this section are fulfilled. Rules framed under the constitution of any trade union do not get any statutory force. It is correct that existence of such rules framed to comply with requirements of union. It is only in the nature of contract binding on the members of union. Any breach of such rules cannot be enforced by a writ of mandamus under Article 226 of the constitution. The remedyof the aggrieved party is by way o suit.
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