MAIN PROBLEMS1. UNEVEN GROWTH(INDUSTRY-WISE AND AREA- WISE)2. SMALL SIZE OF UNIONS3. FINANCIAL WEAKNESS4. MULTIPLICITY OF UNIONS AND INTER-UNION RIVALRY5. LEADERSHIP ISSUE6. POLITICALISATION OF UNIONS7. PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION OF TRADE UNIONS
I]UNEVEN GROWTH(INDUSTRY-WISEAND AREA-WISE) The trade union has not influenced a variety of industries. Plantations, coalmines, food, textiles, printing press, chemicals, utility services, transport and communications and commerce are the main organised industries where unionism has made progress. The trade union activities are mostly concentrated in the large-scale industry sector and there too in regard to manual labour only.
UNEVEN GROWTH(CONTD…) Trade unionism is mainly concentrated in a few states and in bigger industrial centres in those states. E.g. textile workers in Bombay, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Indore, Kanpur; plantation labour in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil nadu and Kerala; Jute mill workers in Bengal……. Hardly any trade union activity exists in small-scale enterprises, domestic servants and agricultural labour.
II]SMALL SIZE OF UNIONS The fact that any seven workers may form a union under the Trade Union Act of 1926 and get it registered has resulted in a large number of small unions. Women workers although form a substantial part of the labour force were usually not allowed to join a trade union.The trend has chenged.E.g.Self Employed Women’s Association(SEWA) for the unorganised sector. Multiplicity of unions in an organisation also is the cause of small size of the unions.
III]FINANCIAL WEAKNESS Workers are apathetic towards the unions and do not want to contribute a part of their hard earned money to it. Members make adhoc payments instead of regular payments. In cases of multiplicity unions keep their fees unusually low to attract members.
IV]MULTIPLICITY OF UNIONS ANDINTER-UNION RIVALRY The multiplicity of unions leads to inter-union rivalries which ultimately cuts at the very root of unionism, weakens the power of collective bargaining and reduces the effectiveness of workers in securing their legitimate rights. Therefore there should be one union in one industry.
V]LEADERSHIP ISSUE Indian trade union from its very inception was closely associated with the freedom struggle of the country and as such was dominated by national leaders. Prior to independence Gandhiji individualised the trade union movement of the country. Subsequently after independence every political party or groups have patronised a particular union and provided it much desired leadership and support.
LEADERSHIP ISSUE(Contd…) It is distressing to note that even today most Indian trade unions are in the clutches of outside leaders. These leaders happen to be totally strangers to the workers and their trade unions. Also they hardly have any idea about the real problems of the workers. The Govt. has tried to address this issue.
LEADERSHIP ISSUE(Contd…) The Govt. of India while drawing up the Scheme of Workers’ Participation in October 1975 had laid down a legitimate condition that no non-worker would be allowed to become a member of the Shop Council or Joint Council in any industrial enterprise. In the Scheme for the Representation of the Workers’ Representatives in the public sector enterprises the same provision has been made.
VI]POLITICALISATION OF UNIONS One of the biggest problems that the country’s trade union movement faces is the influence of political parties. The trade unions which were formed to safeguard and promote the social and economic interests of workers have tended to become tools of party politics.
VII]RECOGNITION OF THE UNIONS The National Commission on Labour is of the opinion that recognition of trade unions should be made compulsory under a Central law in all undertakings employing 100 or more workers. A trade union seeking recognition as a bargaining agent from an individual employer should have a membership of at least 30% of workers in that establishment.
RECOGNITION OF THE UNIONS(CONTD…) The minimum membership should be 25%, if membership is sought for an industry in a local area. Where there are multiple unions contending for recognition the one with more number of followers would be recognised.