Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Unit 11: Trade Union Act, 1926


                                          Unit 11: Trade Union Act, 1926

A trade union is a continuous association of wage-earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working lives.

Under the Trade Union Act of 1926, the term is defined as any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workers and employers or for imposing restrictive conditions on the condition of any trade or business and includes any federation of two or more unions.

Trade unions in India, as in most other countries, have been the natural outcome institutionally, the trade union movement is an unconscious effort to harness the drift of our time and reorganise it around the cohesive identity that men working together always achieve of the modern factory system.

The development of trade unionism in India has a chequered history and a stormy career.

In 1920 All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was formed.

The first meeting of the AITUC was held in October, 1920 at Bombay (now Mumbai) under the president ship of Lala Lajpat Rai.
The formation of AITUC led to the establishment of All India Railway men’s Federation (AIRF) in 1922.

Many Company Railway Unions were affiliated to it.

There are over 9,000 trade unions in the country, including unregistered unions and more than 70 federations and confederations registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926.

Outside leadership has been playing a pivotal role in the Indian Trade Union Movement due to the inability of insiders to lead their movement.

The Royal Commission of Labour (RCL) 1931 recommended for the reduction of the statutory limit of outsiders from 1/2 to 1/3 but no efforts were taken in this direction.

Outside leadership has been responsible for the slow growth of Trade Unions.

In view of the evil effects of inter-union rivalry the recommendations of the National Commission on Labour, 1969.

To minimise union rivalry are: Elimination of party politics and outsiders through building up of internal leaders, Promotion of collective bargaining through recognition of sole bargaining agents, and Empowering labour courts to settle inter-union disputes if they are not settled within the organisation.

To minimise trade union problems and to strengthen the Trade Union Movement.

Unions must present a joint front.

Trade unions should form a sort of labour party and all the trade unions in the country should be affi liated to it.

Trade unions should extend welfare measures to the members and actively pursue social responsibilities.

The Trade Union Act, 1956 should be amended and the number of members required to form a trade union should be increased from 7 to 50% of the employees of an organisation.

The Government of India drew up a Bill which was introduced in the Legislative Assembly on 31st August 1925.

The Bill was passed the next year as the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926.

The Act with subsequent amendments is still in force in the country.

The federation of trade unions also requires registration.

It was held in National Organisation of Bank Workers’ Federation of Trade Unions vs.

Union of India and others (Bombay -1993) that where a federation of Trade Unions is not registered, it is not a trade union under the Act.

The Supreme Court upheld the writ petition, brought as a class action by certain social activists and NGOs, concerning the fundamental rights of working women with particular reference to the evil of sexual harassment of women at workplaces.

AITUC: All India Trade Union Congress AIRF: All India Railway men’s Federation BMS: Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh Reformist or Welfare Unions: Work for changes and reforms within existing socio-political framework of society - European Model.

Revolutionary Unions: Believe in destruction of existing social/economic order and creation of a new one.

They want shift in power and Authority and use of force - Left Unions.

Trade Union: A trade union is an association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working lives.

Uplift Unions: They advocate extensive reforms well beyond the area of working condition, i.e., change in taxation system, elimination of poverty, etc.

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