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A trade union is a formal association of workers, acting collectively,
who seek to protect and promote their mutual interests through
collective action

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~ ?t is an association of employees or employers or of independent workers
~ ?t is a relatively permanent formation of workers
~ ?t is formed to secure certain economic benefits to members
~ ?t emphasizes joint, coordinated action and collective bargaining

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~ mecuring economic benefits to members


~ ?mproving the working conditions
~ Protecting members from unilateral acts and disciplinary actions of
management
~ Fighting against inappropriate personnel policies
~ Promoting the welfare of members
~ ?mproving employer-employee relations
~ Carrying out negotiations with management in a fair manner
~ mafeguarding organisational health and the interests of the industry

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~ ?ntra-mural functions
~ Extra-mural functions
~ Political functions
~ mocial functions

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~ % &' ?t is a union whose members done type of work,


often using specialised skills and training.
~ & &' ?t is a union that includes many persons
working in the same industry or company regardless of jobs
held.
~  &' chis type of union consists of workers
employed in different industries and crafts within a particular
city or region.
~ P' ?t is a group of autonomous, national and
international unions

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~  ! ' mocial workers, philanthropists, religious leaders led the
movement, mostly, on humanitarian grounds. After the Factories Act,
1881 was passed, important unions sprouted up slowly.
~
 ())' che outbreak of World War! and the subsequent
economic, political and social conditions influenced the growth of trade
union movement. che establishment of ?  in 1919 helped formation of
several unions between 1919 and 1923.
~   c  )' che A?cC was formed in 1920
followed by the establishment of All ?ndia Railwaymen's Federation in
1922. nions began to adopt militant postures to achieve their
demands. mplits and mergers were quite common. che influence of
political parties was quite significant.
~ & &' ?t has been a long and arduous road for the trade
union movement in ?ndia, a past boasting of prominent national leaders
at centre stage, to militant presence till 1990s and a painful process of
fighting for survival till 2000 and an uncertain future in the midst of
tumultuous economic, social, political and technological changes.
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che crade nion Act, 1926 legalises the formation of trade unions by
any seven persons employed in a unit quite easily. A registered union
has certain advantages to its credit. Due to inter union and intra union
rivalry, it is not easy to carry out negotiations with a recognised union in
?ndia. che Act, of course, has not cleared the fog either.

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che Bombay ?ndustrial Relations Act, 1946, classified the registered unions as:
i. Representative union having a membership of not less than 25% of the total
employees as members in an industry;
ii. Qualified union having at least 5% of membership in an industry; and
iii. Primary union having a membership of at least 15% of employees in an
undertaking.
che rights of a Representative union under the Act are:
a. First preference to appear or act in any proceedings under the Act as the
representative of employees;
b. Right to submit a dispute for arbitration;
c. co make a special application to the abour Court to hold an inquiry; and
d. ffice-bearers of the union cannot be dismissed or discharged.

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Collective bargaining can succeed only when the employer recognises a trade
union as the sole bargaining agent (in a multi-union situation) and agrees to
negotiate with it on various issues affecting the lives of workers. A union may be
strong, having a large majority of workers standing by its side, but unless it is
recognised by the employer it will not be able to deliver the goods. ?f the employer
refuses to recognise such a fact, for any reason whatsoever, it may not be able to
obtain any concessions for its members. Denial of recognition to a union enjoying
majority may lead both parties to a tug-of-war situation, seriously impacting
industrial activities. mince there is no Central aw for compulsory recognition of
unions, the employers are free to recognise any union of their own choice. ?n a
multi-union situation the employer is compelled to verify the claims of contending
unions in a careful way, following the procedure recommended by the 16th
cripartite abour Conference, 1958. che employer, by and large, is also free to
grant recognition to any union, purely guided by his whims or political strength of
the union.

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~ When multiple unions exit, the union claiming recognition should
be functioning for at least one year after recognition
~ che membership of the union should cover at least 15% of
workers in the establishment
~ co be recognised as a representative union for an industry in a
local area, the union should have membership of at least 25 per
cent of workers in that area
~ ?n case of multiple unions in an establishment or industry, the
one with the largest membership should be recognised.

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che majority character of a union is not easy to decide because of
claims and counter claims from warring factions. Proper
membership records, often, are not available. chere is the problem
of common names appearing in the registers of more than one
union. nion leaders often divide workers along caste, community,
religion, linguistic and regional lines. che check off system
(whereby members pay their respective fee directly into the
account of the union concerned) is offered as a viable alternative
to solve the knotty issue.

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che factors responsible for the ever-growing list of problems faced


by trade unions in ?ndia may be recounted thus:

~ c & ' utside leaders have hijacked the


trade union movement right from the beginning. Absence of
strong leaders from the ranks of workers, inability to represent
the woes of workers in a forceful manner, the presence of
towering political personalities willing to serve the cause of
workers, the illiteracy of workers, by and large, contributed to
this peculiar phenomenon.

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~ mlow growth of unions


~ Weakening of the overall goals for which unions existed
~ Coming in the way of nurturing strong leaders from the ranks of workers
~ ?nability to understand the problems of workers
~ ?nhibiting the development of one union in one industry
~ Personal agendas of leaders gaining priority over workers' overall interests

~
&   &' chis came in the way of a healthy and
democratic growth of labour movement in the country. che
small size, naturally, affected the bargaining powers of the
union severely.

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~  / !' che inter-union and intra-union rivalry helped the
cause of the employer more than that of workers. che warring
factions, consequently, had very little time to put up a joint,
coordinated fight before employers even under extremely trying
conditions.
~ P" 0' che membership fee is pathetically low. chere
were very few opportunities to raise funds otherwise. co keep
workers in good humour, often, unions had to organised
functions and programmes, out of merciful grants offered by
employers. chis had a telling effect on their bargaining powers.
~  ( ' ?lliteracy, low membership, heterogeneous
nature of labour, lack of interest on the part of a large majority of
workers, absence of paid office bearers etc were some of the
other problems faced by trade unions.

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f late, trade unions have been pushed to the wall due to factors
such as: global competition, restructuring exercises carried out by
companies from time to time just to survive, rising costs of
manufacturing, lack of support from the general public and the
government; privatisation, failure to deliver results in case of a
prolonged battle etc.

 
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~ „ilitancy does not
~ Political base shrinking

1 ~ Public sympathy disappearing


~ Jobs vanishing at an alarming rate
~ „embership figures sinking

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?n order to strengthen the trade union movement in the country, there
is an urgent need to improve trade union finances, develop leaders
from the ranks of workers, recognise a bargaining agent on the basis
of strong membership figures, promote one union one industry
policy, strict criteria for recognising a representative union , strong
political support for labour-related issues etc.

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Employers¶ associations are formed, primarily, to promote and protect


the interests of employers in trade and industry.
  
Employers¶ Associations are formed to promote and protect interests of employers in
trade and industry. chey are ³formal groups of employers set up to defend, represent
or advise affiliated employers´. chey perform several important functions:
!
a. Promote and protect the interests of employers engaged in industry, trade and
commerce in ?ndia.
b. mtudy, analyse and disseminate information relating to labour policy, labour-
management relations, collective bargaining, etc.
c. ffer advice concerning various aspects of labour policy.
d. iaise with nion Government and initiate steps that are representative and
legislative in nature.
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e. crain and develop staff and members.
f. btain data on wages and conditions of work in industries attached to them.
g. Come out with surveys, research-based reports on issues of importance to
both labour and management.
h. cake up projects for social and family welfare.
i. Deal with safety and health at work place and working environment.
j. ?nitiate steps to improve public image and improve public relations.
k. Educate the public regarding the character, scope, importance and needs of
trade, industry and commerce represented by members.

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&  
~ All ?ndia rganisation f Employers
~ che Employers¶ Federation f ?ndia
~ ?nternational rganisation f Employers

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