Trade Union Act

By | September 24, 2016
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Trade Union means “any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions”.

Trade union is a voluntary organization of workers pertaining to a particular trade, industry or a company and formed to promote and protect their interests and welfare by collective action. They are the most suitable organisations for balancing and improving the relations between the employer and the employees. They are formed not only to cater to the workers’ demand, but also for inculcating in them the sense of discipline and responsibility.

Every registered Trade Union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered, and shall have perpetual successionmand a common seal with power to acquire and hold both movable and immovable property and to contract, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

Introduction

Trade Unions Act, 1926 deals with the registration of trade unions, their rights, their liabilities and responsibilities as well as ensures that their funds are utilised properly. It gives legal and corporate status to the registered trade unions. It also seeks to protect them from civil or criminal prosecution so that they could carry on their legitimate activities for the benefit of the working class. The Act is applicable not only to the union of workers but also to the association of employers. It extends to whole of India.

Definition

Section 2 of the Act defines various terms used in the Act, some of the definitions are given here under:

Executive means the body, by whatever name called, to which the management of the affairs of a trade union is entrusted.[ Section 2 (a)]

Office-bearer in the case of a trade union, includes any member of the executive thereof, but does not include an auditor.[ Section 2 (b)]

Registered office means that office of a trade union which is registered under this Act as the head office thereof. [Section 2 (d)]

Registered trade union means a trade union registered under this Act.[ Section 2 (e)]

Trade dispute means any dispute between employers and workmen, or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers which is connected with the employment or non-employment, or the terms of employment or the conditions of labor, of any person, and “workmen” means all persons employed in trade or industry whether or not in the employment of the employer with whom the trade dispute arises.[ Section 2 (g)]

Trade union means any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions. [Section 2 (h)]

Mode of registration

Section 4 provides that any seven or more members of a Trade Union may by subscribing their names to the rules of the Trade Union and by otherwise complying with the provisions of this Act with respect to registration, apply for registration of the Trade Union .

However, no Trade Union of workmen shall be registered unless at least ten per cent. or one hundred of the workmen, whichever is less, engaged or employed in the establishment or industry with which it is connected are the members of such Trade Union on the date of making of application for registration.

Application for registration

Section 5 stipulates that every application for registration of a Trade Union shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the Trade Union and a statement of the following particulars,namely:

– the names, occupations and address of the members making application;

– in the case of a Trade Union of workmen, the names, occupations and addresses of the place of work of the members of the Trade Union making the application;

– the name of the Trade Union and the address of its head office; and

– the titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of the office-bearers of the Trade Union.

Where a Trade Union has been in existence for more than one year before the making of an application for its registration, there shall be delivered to the Registrar, together with the application, a general statement of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union prepared in such form and containing such particulars as may be prescribed

Provisions contained in the rules of a Trade Union

A Trade Union shall not be entitled to registration under the Act, unless the executive thereof is constituted in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and the rules thereof provide for the following matters, namely:—

– the name of the Trade Union;

– the whole of the objects for which the Trade Union has been established;

– the whole of the purposes for which the general funds of the Trade Union shall be applicable, all of which purposes shall be purposes to which such funds are lawfully applicable under this Act;

– the maintenance of a list of the members of the Trade Union and adequate facilities for the inspection thereof by the office-bearers and members of Trade Union;

– the admission of ordinary members who shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected, and also the admission of the number of honorary or temporary members as office-bearers required under section 22 to form the executive of the Trade Union;

– the payment of a minimum subscription by members of the Trade Union

– the conditions under which any member shall be entitled to any benefit assured by the rules and under which any fine or forfeiture may be imposed on the members;

– the manner in which the rules shall be amended, varied or rescinded;

– the manner in which the members of the executive and the other office-bearers of the Trade Union shall be elected and removed;

– the duration of period being not more than three years, for which the members of the executive and other office-bearers of the Trade Union shall be elected;

– the safe custody of the funds of the Trade Union, an annual audit, in such manner as may be prescribed, of the accounts thereof, and adequate facilities for the inspection of the account books by the office ebearers and members of the Trade Union; and

– the manner in which the Trade Union may be dissolved

Certificate of Registration

The Registrar, on being satisfied that the Trade Union has complied with all the requirements of the Act in regard to registration, shall register the Trade Union by entering in a register, to be maintained in such form as may be prescribed, the particulars relating to the Trade Union contained in the statement accompanying the application for registration. The Registrar, on registering a Trade Union under section 8, shall issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form which shall be conclusive evidence that the Trade Union has been duly registered under the Act.

Incorporation of registered Trade Union

Every registered Trade Union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered, and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire and hold both movable and immovable property and to contract, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

Cancellation of registration

A certificate of registration of a Trade Union may be withdrawn or cancelled by the Registrar on the following

grounds –

– on the application of the Trade Union to be verified in such manner as may be prescribed;

– if the Registrar is satisfied that the certificate has been obtained by fraud or mistake or that the Trade

Union has ceased to exist or has wilfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision

of this Act or allowed any rule to continue in force which is inconsistent with any such provision or has

rescinded any rule providing for any matter provision for which is required by section 6;

– if the Registrar is satisfied that a registered Trade Union of workmen ceases to have the requisite

number of members:

Returns

Section 28 of the Act provides that there shall be sent annually to the Registrar, on or before such date as may

be prescribed, a general statement, audited in the prescribed manner, of all receipts and expenditure of every

registered Trade Union during the year ending on the 31st day of December next preceding such prescribed

date, and of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union existing on such 31st day of December. The statement

shall be prepared in such form and shall comprise such particulars as may be prescribed.

Together with the general statement there shall be sent to the Registrar a statement showing changes of officebearers

made by the Trade Union during the year to which the general statement refers together also with a copy of the rules of the Trade Union corrected upto the date of the despatch thereof to the Registrar. A copy of every alteration made in the rules of a registered Trade Union shall be sent to the Registrar within fifteen days of the making of the alteration.

For the purpose of examining the abovementioned documents the Registrar, or any officer authorised by him by general or special order, may at all reasonable times inspect the certificate of registration, account books, registers, and other documents, relating to a Trade Union, at its registered office or may require their production at such place as he may specify in this behalf, but no such place shall be at a distance of more than ten miles from the registered office of a Trade Union.

Cancellation of registration

A certificate of registration of a Trade Union may be withdrawn or cancelled by the Registrar on the following grounds –

– on the application of the Trade Union to be verified in such manner as may be prescribed;

– if the Registrar is satisfied that the certificate has been obtained by fraud or mistake or that the Trade Union has ceased to exist or has wilfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision of this Act or allowed any rule to continue in force which is inconsistent with any such provision or has rescinded any rule providing for any matter provision for which is required by section 6;

– if the Registrar is satisfied that a registered Trade Union of workmen ceases to have the requisite number of members:

Returns

Section 28 of the Act provides that there shall be sent annually to the Registrar, on or before such date as may be prescribed, a general statement, audited in the prescribed manner, of all receipts and expenditure of every registered Trade Union during the year ending on the 31st day of December next preceding such prescribed date, and of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union existing on such 31st day of December. The statement shall be prepared in such form and shall comprise such particulars as may be prescribed.

Together with the general statement there shall be sent to the Registrar a statement showing changes of office bearers made by the Trade Union during the year to which the general statement refers together also with a copy of the rules of the Trade Union corrected upto the date of the despatch thereof to the Registrar. A copy of every alteration made in the rules of a registered Trade Union shall be sent to the Registrar within fifteen days of the making of the alteration.

For the purpose of examining the abovementioned documents the Registrar, or any officer authorised by him by general or special order, may at all reasonable times inspect the certificate of registration, account books, registers, and other documents, relating to a Trade Union, at its registered office or may require their production at such place as he may specify in this behalf, but no such place shall be at a distance of more than ten miles from the registered office of a Trade Union.

Author: Mayank Shekhar

Mayank is a student at Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Under his leadership, Legal Bites has been researching and developing resources through blogging, educational resources, competitions, and seminars.