Chapter 7Types Of UnionsIn our last lecture we have discussed different approaches of trade unions tounderstand the concept of trade unions. Now we will discuss different types of tradeunions vizs.1. Craft and General Union2. Closed Shop/Union Shop3. Check off Union4. Blue Collar/White-Collar Unions5. Agricultural Workers Union 1. Craft and General Union –The craft union is It is an organization of workers employed in a particular craft or trade or in a single or two or three related trades/crafts/occupations. The crafts unions are mostly found amongst non- manual employees and professional workers. Their members are generally craft-conscious rather than class-conscious. These unions safeguard the interest of their members. 2. Closed Shop/Union Shop –Employment only to those who first becomes member of the union, if the union supplies labour or once you join the organization, you are required to become member of the union. 3. Check off Union – Under the check-off system the management collects an employee’s union dues, as wage deduction and pays the said amount in lump sum to the union. The employees who are members of the union cannot desist from paying the said amount out of their salary. 4. Blue-Collar and White Collar Workers – The unions have been classified on the basis of level and status of the employee. The workers who operate machines and related system are termed as blue-collar employee and all clerical or office staff is termed as white-collar employee. The white-collar employees enjoy more privileges than blue-collar employees. The most important feature is their nature if work. The members of these groups usually seem more inclined towards management than blue-collar workers. Now, even in case of blue-collar employees, because of professional skills, they are better off and getting better salary package than white-collar employees.
It is the observation that white collar unionism is expanding. The white-collar unions are running the whole show of unionism and are having techniques to settle the issue with the management. Some of the trade unions of white-collar unions are the All India Bank Employees Union, the All India Defence Employees Federation, the National Federation of P&T Workers, and The Confederation of Central Government Employees etc. These unions are independent and are not affiliated to any central union. 5. Agricultural Workers-Agricultural workers are those whose main source of income is farm wage employment. It should also be understood that agricultural employees are not those who are engaged for production but are also engaged in dairy farming, horticulture, raising of livestock, bees, poultry etc. With the help of the following chart we can understand the categories of agricultural labour : - 1. Landless agricultural Labour (a) Permanent Labour attached to a cultivating house hold; and (b) Casual Labour. Casual Labour in turn consists of three groups vizs. (1) Cultivators (2) Share croppers (3) House holds 2. Small Cultivators whose main source of income, due to their small holding is wage employment.It has been observed that agricultural labour is deprived and underprivileged segmentof Indian society. Some of the features of such labour are: 1. Their wages are low; 2. They perform difficult tasks 3. They are faced with irregular employment; 4. They lack social security; 5. They do not have assets of great value; 6. Their working and living conditions are poor; 7. They are illiterate and thus exploited by the employers; and 8. They borrow funds from their employers to support the family, which leads to their becoming bonded labour.
Faced with these problems they need improvement in two directions. One hand,wages and working conditions need to be improved and on the other , there isnecessity of finding job opportunities and obtaining benefits which they are entitled.To better their conditions of employment, there is a strong case of unionization ofagricultural labour but progress in this direction is not satisfying. The main problemis agricultural labour is scattered and often dependant on their landlords. It is also feltthat formation of trade unions of agricultural labour may lead to class conflict. It is,therefore, suggested that local leaders can help them for better terms of employment.