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Trade unionism

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  • 1. What is a Trade Union?• Definition: An organization of workers or employees formed mainly to _ Negotiate with the employers on various employment related issues – Improve the terms and conditions at their workplace – Enhance their status in society• In most countries, there are laws governing the formation, membership and administration of trade unions.
  • 2. ORIGIN & GROWTH OF TRADE UNION MOVEMENT• Industrialization brought about new economic and social order in societies. TU emerged as a result of industrialization in new social order• First workers’ union in India under the leadership of Mr Lokhande was developed in 1890• Beginning of labor movement in the modern sense started after the outbreak of World War I• Economic. Political and social conditions influenced the growth of trade union movement in India.• Establishment of ILO helped the formation of TUs in the country• In 1920 AITUC( All India Trade Union Congress) was formed- the 1st All India trade union• World War II brought splits in AITUC. Efforts of Indian National Congress resulted in the formation of INTUC( Indian National Trade Union Congress)• Socialists separated from AITUC formed HMS( Hind Mazdoor Sabha) in 1948• Some other unions were also formed. They were BMS ( Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh) in1955, HMP( Hind Majdoor Panchayat) in 1965, CITU( Centre of Indian Trade Union ) in 1970
  • 3. PRINCIPLE OF TRADE UNION1. UNITY: Unity is strength2. EQUALITY: Workers must not be discriminated wrt caste, creed, sex etc. Each worker should get equal pay for equal work3. SECURITY: Security of their employment and their families must be safeguarded
  • 4. Objectives of a Trade Union1. Collective bargaining – Represent members to negotiate with employers, for better wages and conditions of employment1. Safeguard jobs – Protect jobs of members1. Cooperate with employers – For the benefits of members, resolve disputes in a mutually acceptable manner
  • 5. Objectives of a Trade Union4. Political activities - Support pro-union political parties5. Social activities - Support members with recreation facilities and benefits for unemployment, illness, retirement, death
  • 6. Types of Unions1. Craft union – Same craft or occupation1. General union – For unskilled workers1. Staff union – Non-manual workers
  • 7. Types of Unions4. Industry union – Same industry, regardless of skills, occupation or job4. House union (company or enterprise union) – All members are from the same company regardless of occupation or job
  • 8. Why Workers Join Unions1. Higher wages and better working conditions – Collective bargaining with employer2. Job security – More secured with collective agreement3. Social need – Meet co-workers from other departments or companies
  • 9. Why Workers Join Unions4. Upgrading of skills – Attend training courses organized by union5. Peer pressure – Colleagues are members6. Self-fulfillment – Serve other members
  • 10. OBJECTIVES/IMPORTANCE OF TRADE UNIONS• Wages & salaries Policy matter but differences in implementation, so comes the role of trade union• Working conditions safeguarding workers health: Lighting & ventilation, sanitation, rest rooms, safety equipments ( hazards free atmosphere , drinking water, refreshments, working hours, leave & rest, holidays with pay, job satisfaction, social security benefits and other welfare measures• Discipline Protect workers from victimization by management- transfers, suspensions, dismissals etc• Personal policies Fighting against improper implementation of personnel policies wrt recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, training etc ..• Welfare Solving difficulties of workers through collective bargaining wrt sanitation, hospitals, quarters, schools, colleges and other basic amenities• Employer- employee relations Bureaucratic attitude and unilateral thinking of mgmt may lead to conflicts Trade unions go for constant negotiations for industrial democracy and peace .• Negotiating machinery Based on ‘give and take principle’, negotiations continue till parties reach an agreement. Protect interests of workers through collective bargainINg• Safeguarding organizational health Methods evolved for grievance redressal, techniques adopted to reduce absenteeism and labor turnover. upgrading skills- attend training courses organized by unions
  • 11. ACTIVITIES OF TRADE UNIONECONOMIC: Improved economic status, shorter working day, improvement in living and working conditions, better health & safety standards, upgrading welfare facilities, reducing inequalities- both internally & externallyPOLITICAL: Seeking / obtaining political power through political affiliations, lobbying activities to influence the cause of labor and legislations, participating & representing workers on bipartite forums, developing revolutionary ideologies among workers, protesting against Govt. decisionsSOCIAL: Initiating & developing workers’ education system, organizing welfare & recreational facilities, providing monitory and other help during period of strike and economic distress, running cooperative welfare schemes and societies, hosing needs/ community development, organizing cultural functions & social welfare programmesNATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL LEVEL: Representing workers at the national level on advisory committees, associating with national federations for unity & solidarity, Raising funds in case of national / International calamities or tragedies
  • 12. FEATURES OF AN EFFECTIVE TRADE UNION• Internally democratic• Have a strong leadership• Exhibit a responsibility towards their worker members• Committed to promote industrial peace and harmony• Inclined towards collective bargaining that is collaborative and not competitrive• Possess financial security• Adaptable to change
  • 13. CHANGING ROLE / PUBLIC PERCEPTION TRADE UNIONS• Change in the attitude of unions towards management, Industry, Govt. and economy• Unions becoming increasingly matured, responsive and realistic Gone are the days of frequent strikes, bandhs, gheraoes and violence• Unions are reconciled to economic reforms. The accent is on opposing the adverse impact of reforms and not the reforms• Discussion among trade union circles is now on issues like productivity, TQM, Technology, competition, MNCs, exports etc..• Unions aware of the Right Sizing and feel the need for suplus labor fat to be shed• Days when unions were affiliated with political parties are gone by. Today thrust is on de- politicization of unions• Experience of politically free unions is pleasant, reinforcing the belief that farther the unions are from politics, more advantageous it is for them
  • 14. • Workers association in our country is highly fragmented and the consequence is multiplicity of unions, which weakens the bargaining strength of employees.• One of the defects of trade union movement in India has been the phenomenon of outside leadership. The fault of outside leadership lies with trade Union Act, 1926 itself. The act permitted outside participation to the extent of 50% of the strength of office bearers in a union.• Trade Unions are at cross roads. Their membership is declining, Their political support is waning, public sympathy is receding, their relevance itself is at stake• Managements on the other hand are on the offensive. They are able to force unions to accept terms and conditions. Workers,officers and managers are mercilessly terminated in the name of restructuring, downsizing etc• Professionalisation of trade unions movement is another trend witnessed, they are trying to upgrade their leadership quality. Topics lie IT, strategic planning, diversity, networking and productivity etc now form inputs in training programmes organized for union leaders
  • 15. MAJOR PROBLEMS FACED BY BTRADE UNIONS IN INDIA• Outside or political leadership• Multiplicity of trade unions• Small size of unions• Low membership• Uneven growth• Poor financial position• Low level of knowledge of labor legislation
  • 16. TRADE UNION ACT (1926)• It legalizes the formation of trade unions by allowing employees the right to form and organize unions and also strengthen bargaining power of workers• Act aims to provide law for the registration of trade unions and get it registered under the act• Permits any seven persons to form a unionOBJECTIVES• Lay down conditions governing the registration of trade unions• Defines obligations of trade unions• Prescribe rights and liabilities of a registered trade unionSTATUS OF A REGISTERED UNION• It becomes a body corporate• It gets a common seal• It can buy and hold movable and immovable property• It can enter into contracts with others• It can sue and be sued in its name

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