File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Trade Union Act of 1926

Labour laws are those that deal with job regulations in any kind of business, including production, selling, retail, and other places. The labour laws handle the numerous management rules and conformance requirements (such as job standing orders) as well as the legal rights and obligations of workers and their organizations. Generally speaking, labour law deals with labour-management relations, industrial relations, licensing of unions, collective negotiations, discriminatory labour practices, and the crucial topics of workplace health and safety and favourable natural circumstances.

Development of Trade Union in India

This development of the Trade Union can be classified into three phases such as:
  1. Before World War I (1875-1917)
    It was in 1877 that the first time strike took place in Express Cotton Mills Industry at Nagpur to raise the demand for workmen as after the first world war was over the cost of living considerably increased. The political agitation against foreign rule was also gaining momentum throughout the country. The increase in the cost of living found its way into economic discontent amongst the masses, particularly in industries.

    In 1890 an employee of 'The Bombay Millhands Association named N.M Lokhande form a trade Union for demanding the basic needs of workers such as a fixed number of working hours, a lunch period to be given and they should be given some sort of union kind thing which can hear and raise their issue before the employer.

    The management was negligent and did not have any interest in granting rights to workmen.
  2. After World War I and Before Independence (1917- 1947)
    Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa in 1919 for resolving the problem faced by the workmen. He visited Ahmedabad Textile Mill to get a clear picture of the problem of workers. He invited workers and masters to sit at the table and find out a solution. Gandhiji was successful in his way.

    In 1917, the revolution started against the master workmen which became a burning point for every workmen in the country. Ultimately masters surrendered and the demands of the workmen were fulfilled.

    The Buckingham Case in 1926, held in Carnatic Mills Madras boosted the Royal Commission to make an Act for workers. The problem of the workmen was regarding the inhuman working condition which was given to them.

    B.K Wadia an employee of the Carnatic Mills at Madras and the leader of the labour wanted to go on strike against their inhuman working condition. He spread awareness about their rights and collected people and finally go on a strike. After this incident, the industry suffered a loss of approximately Rupees 75,000. To give B.K Wadia a lesson the management of the industry filed a complaint in the Madras High Court for claiming damages of Rupees 75,000 from B.K Wadia.

    The High Court takes cognizance and takes the side of the Employer. The workmen who were involved in the strike condemned the decision and said that they need basic human rights for existence. In response, British Government takes action and finally passes the Trade Union Act, of 1926. It was passed in 1926 but was enforced only from 1st July 1927.
  3. 1947-Till Date
    The All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was established in 1920 to look after the welfare of the working class. It was established by Congress Party. At the time of independence, only two major political parties existed in India which were the Congress Party and the Communist Party of India. In 1947 AITUC went into the hands of the Communist Party. After that Congress formed the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Gulzarilal Nanda, Kanta Bai, and Harihar Nath Shastri became members of AITUC AND INTUC.

    In the year 1947, the Communist Party OF India split into two parts, which are CPI itself and the Communist Party of Marxist India. But AITUC remains in the hands of CPI only.

    In the year 1948, Hindu Mazdoor Sabha was formed by Janta Party. On 1st May 1948 United Trade Union Congress was formed by KP Shah and J.B Kriplani.

    In the year 1955, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangha was established by D. Thangari who was a member of Jan Sangh(now Bhartiya Janta Party). In the year 1970, the Centre of Indian Trade Union was formed by a member of CPIM named VN Ranate.

Amendments to the Trade Union Act:

  1. Indian Trade Union (Amendment) Act, 1929
    1. Limitations were imposed upon the activities of the Trade Union and Office Bearers were to be reconsidered.
    2. The account of the Trade Union should be audited free of charge by government officers.
    3. At least two-thirds of members of the executive of a Trade Union should be people engaged or employed in the industry to which the Union relates.
    4. Trade unions should not be deprived of carrying on cooperative societies.

Indian Trade Union (Amendment) Act, 1947

The Indian Trade Unions Act, of 1926 made provisions for the registration of Trade Unions after fulfilling the requisite conditions but the employer was under no obligation either to recognize or to deal with a Trade Union even if it was registered one. Consequently, the Act was amended in the year 1947 providing for compulsory recognition by employers of representative Trade Unions. The following provisions were made in the Amending Act.
  1. Establishment of Labour Court
  2. Recognition to be granted if the Union applying for such recognition was representative of all the workers in the concerned establishment or industry.
  3. If a registered Union has applied for recognition within three months, the Labour Court will look after the matter and after finding that it fulfills the condition of the Trade Union, it shall pass an order directing such recognition
  4. Mention of unfair practices both for the Trade Union and Employer were mentioned. If Trade Union is found engaging in unfair practices an application by the employer to the Registrar can be made. If an employer is found guilty of unfair practice Registrar will impose a fine of Rupees 1000 on the employer.

Purpose of Trade Union

  1. The Trade Union will help to impose workmen's democracy.
  2. It will help in improving timely wage payment, no illegal deduction, and improved working conditions.
  3. The Union will help them to escape the atrocities of the employer in any form.
  4. The employer who employs workmen only the gaining more benefits will have to comply with the Act which in turn will reduce capitalism.

Section 2: Definitions
Appropriate Government:
If the Trade Union is at the National level the appropriate government is Central Government and if it is in a particular state then the appropriate Government is State Government.

Section 2(b)- Office-bearer
In the case of a Trade Union, includes any member of the executive thereof, but does not include an auditor.

Section 2(f)- Registrar
Registrar means
  1. A registrar of Trade Unions appointed by the appropriate Government under Section 3 and includes any Additional or Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions.
  2. In relation to any Trade Union, the Registrar appointed for the state in which the head or registered office the case may be, of the Trade Union is situated.

Section 2(g)- Trade Dispute
Trade Dispute means any dispute:
  1. (a) between employer and workmen

    (b) between workmen and workmen

    (c) between employer and employer
  2. Any such dispute must be connected with:
    1. the employment or
    2. non-employment or
    3. the terms of employment
    4. the condition of any labour, or any person

Section 2(g)- Workmen
The latter part of Section 2(g) of this Act defines "Workmen" as follows:
  1. Workmen means all persons employed in trade or industry.
  2. It is immaterial that the persons employed in a trade or industry are not in the employment by the employer with whom the Trade Dispute arises.

Section 2(h)- Trade Union
  1. Any combination whether temporary or permanent
  2. The combination should have been formed for:
    1. regulating the relationship between
      • Workmen and employer
      • Workmen and workmen
      • Employer and Employer

Section 3- Appointment of Registrar
The appropriate government shall appoint a person to be the registrar of the Trade Union for each state. The appropriate government is also authorized to appoint Additional and Deputy Registrars of the Trade Union. They shall work under the superintendence and direction of Registrars. The Appropriate Government shall by order specify and define the local limits within which any Additional or Deputy Registrar shall exercise and discharge his powers and functions.

Section 4- Mode of Registration
A Trade Union may be registered, unregistered, or recognized Trade Union. There is a basic distinction between these Trade Unions. The members of a recognized and registered Trade Union enjoy such benefits as the members of an unregistered Trade Union do not.

Any seven or more members of a Trade Union may apply for registration of Trade Union. Provided that no Trade Union of workmen shall be registered unless at least ten percent, or one hundred of the workmen, whichever is less engaged or employed in the establishment of the industry with which it is connected are the members of Trade Union on the date of making such an application.

Provided further that no Trade Union of workmen shall be registered unless it has on the date of making application not less than seven persons as its members who are workmen engaged or employed in the establishment or industry with which it is connected.

Section 5- Application for registration
According to the provision of the Act a Trade Union may become a registered Trade Union in the following manner:
  1. An application should be sent to the registrar in which seven or more members of the such union must subscribe their names. At least seven members must subscribe names to the rules of the Trade Union.
  2. The application in the form "A" should be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the Trade Union and a statement of the following particulars:
    1. The names, occupations, and addresses of the members making the application.
    2. In the case of a Trade Union of workmen, the names occupation, and addresses of the place of work of the members of the Trade Union making the application.
    3. The titles, names, ages and addresses, and occupations of the office bearers of the Trade Union.

Section 6- Provision to be contained in the rules of the Trade Union
Every registered Tarde Union is required to have written rules dealing with certain matters specified in Schedule II of the Central Trade Union Regulations, 1938.
  1. The executive of the Trade Union is constituted by the provisions of this Act.
  2. the rules of the Trade Union provide for the following matters, namely:
    1. name of the Trade Union
    2. the object of the Trade Union
    3. The purpose to which the General Fund of Trade Union will be applicable.
    4. Maintenance of the list of the members of the Trade Union and adequate facilities for the inspection thereof by the office bearers and members of the Trade Union
    5. admission of ordinary members who shall be persons engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected and also the admission of honorary or temporary members as office bearers required under Section 22 to form the executive of the Trade Union.

      ee- Payment of a minimum subscription by members of the Trade Union shall not be less than:
      1. one rupee per annum for rural workers.
      2. three rupees per annum for workers in other unorganized sectors.
      3. twelve rupees per annum for workers in any other case.
    6. Any condition under which any member shall be entitled to any benefit it or any fines may be imposed upon them by the rules and procedure.
    7. the manner in which the rule shall be amended.
    8. how the executive and torch bearers shall be elected and removed.

      hh- the member of the executive and torch bearer shall be elected for a period of three years.
    9. safe custody of funds and audit by a torch as prescribed in rules and procedure.
    10. how the Trade Union will be dissolved.
In M.T. Chandersenan V Sukumaran[i], it was held that if the subscription is not paid by the by-laws of the Trade Union, the person who has failed to pay cannot be considered a member of the Union. But subscription should not be refused under some pretext that results in denial of membership.

In I.T. Commr. W.B. v. I.S. Mills Asse,[ii], Indian Sugar Mills Association was a registered Trade Union. Rules 4 and 64 were repugnant to each other. It was submitted that Rule 61 should be treated as void as it was inconsistent with the stated objects of the Union. It was held that the Court had no right to assume some of the stated objects of the Association as primary to declare others in apparent conflict with them as of no effect. All rules framed by the Association co.-exist. Further, the Court had no right to rewrite the rules of a registered Trade Union by deleting any of them.

Section 7- Power to call for further particulars and to require alteration of name
The registration of a Trade Union will be refused by the Registrar if the name under which Trade Union will be refused by the registrar if the name under which a Trade Union is proposed to be registered is identical to that of any existing Trade Union or resembles such name as to be likely to deceive the public or the members of either Trade Union.

Section 8- Registration
The registrar will register the Trade Union if he is satisfied that the Trade Union has complied with all the requirements of this Act regarding registration. The Registrar shall register the Trade Union by making necessary entries in the register, to be maintained in such form as may be prescribed.

In ACC Rajanka Limestone Quarries Mazdoor Union V Registrar of Trade Union [iii], it was held that where the Registrar takes no action on an application for more than three months, a writ under Article 226 can be issued commanding the Registrar to deal with the application.

In Rangaswami V The Registrar of Trade Union [iv], it was held that the withholding of registration of a Trade Union even when the documents were completed was discriminatory in nature.

In Tamil Nadu Non-Gazetted Government Officers Union V The Registrar of Trade Union [v], it was held that the government servants engaged in sovereign activities cannot be permitted to form Trade Union.

Section 9- Certificate of Registration
The Registrar on registering a Trade Union shall issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form which shall be conclusive evidence that the Trade Union has been duly registered under this Act.

Section 10- Cancellation of Registration
The power to withdraw or cancel the registration of a Trade Union is vested in the hands of Registrar.
  1. On the application of the Trade Union to be verified in the prescribed manner.
  2. If the Registrar is satisfied that the certificate of registration has been obtained by fraud or mistake.
  3. Where the Trade Union ceases to exist.
  4. If the Union has wilfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision of this Act or allowed any rule to continue in force that is inconsistent with the provision of this Act.
  5. Where the Union has rescinded any rule for any matter provisions for which is required to be made under Section 6.
  6. If the Registrar feels that a Trade Union of workmen ceases to have the requisite number of members, the registration can be cancelled.
In Tata Electric Companies Officers Guild V Registrar of Trade Unions [vi], for cancellation of registration of a Trade Union wilful contravention of a provision of the Act is necessary. Therefore where a Trade Union did not file a return due to a misunderstanding of the accounting year and the return was filed soon after receipt of show cause notice from the Registrar, the cancellation of registration on the ground of non-filling of the return was held improper.

Section 11- Appeals
A limited right of appeal from the decision of the Registrar is granted by section 11 of the Act. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the Registrar to register a Trade Union or by the withdrawal or cancellation of a certificate of registration has the right of appeal. The appeal should be preferred within the prescribed period. The proceedings by way of appeal must be started within sixty days of the date on which the Registrar passed the order against which the appeal is made.

Section 23- Change of Name
Section 7(2) of the Act provides that no Trade Union shall be registered under the name identical to the name of any other existing Trade Union. Section 23 of the Act provides that any registered Trade Union may, with the consent of not less than two-thirds of the total number of its members and subject to the provision of Section 25 of the Act, change its name.

Section 24- Amalgamation of Trade Unions
Any two or more registered Trade Unions may become amalgamated together as one Trade Union with or without dissolution or division of the funds of such Trade Unions.

But to support any amalgamation the votes of at least one-half of the members of every Trade Union entitled to vote must be recorded and also at least sixty percent of the votes recorded must be in favour of the proposal for amalgamation.

Section 25- Notice of change of name or amalgamation
Section 25 of the Act requires that notice in writing of every change of name signed by the Secretary and seven members of the Trade Union changing its name shall be sent to the Registrar. It should further be stated in the notice3 whether the consent of the members was obtained by referendum or by resolution of a general meeting.

The Registrar shall, if he is satisfied that the provisions of the Act in respect of change of name have been complied with, register the change of name in the registered referred in Section 8. The change of name shall have effect from the date of such registration.

Section 26(1)- Effect of change of name
The change in the name of a registered Trade Union shall not affect any rights or obligations of the Trade Union. It shall also not render ineffective any legal proceeding by or against the Trade Union. Any legal proceeding which might have been continued or commenced by or against a Trade Union by its former name may be continued or commenced by or against its new name.

Section 26(2)- Effect of Amalgamation
Section 26 (2) of the Act provides that an amalgamation of two or more registered Trade Unions shall not produce any right of any of such Trade Unions or any right of a creditor or any of them. An amalgamation shall have effect only after it has been registered. But registration of amalgamation by itself is not conclusive proof of the validity of the amalgamation. The amalgamation may be declared invalid on the ground that the votes of fifty percent of the members had not been recorded.

Section 27- Dissolution
Section 27 of the Act provides that when a registered Trade Union is dissolved, a notice of the dissolution signed by seven members and the Secretary of the Trade Union shall, within fourteen days of the dissolution be sent to the Registrar. If the Registrar is satisfied that the dissolution has been affected by the rules of the Trade Union, the notice shall then be registered. The dissolution of a registered Trade Union shall have effect after registration of the notice.

Where the dissolution of a registered Trade Union has been registered and the rules of a Trade Union do not provide for the distribution of funds of the Trade Union on dissolution, the Registrar shall divide the funds among the members in such manner as may be prescribed.

In Blacke V Smither [vii], it was held where the dissolution of a registered Trade Union has been registered and the rules of a Trade Union do not provide for the distribution of funds of the Trade Union on dissolution, the Registrar shall divide the funds among the members in such manner as may be prescribed.

If the rules of a Trade Union do not provide for the dissolution of the Trade Union, then like any other voluntary association the dissolution is possible only with the consent of all the members or by an order of the court. The courts will not ordinarily interfere to dissolve against the wishes of the minority unless it is practically impossible for the Union to function.

  1. AIR 1974 SC 1789
  2. AIR 1975 SC 506
  3. AIR 1958 Pat 470
  4. AIR 1962 Mad 231
  5. AIR 1959 Mad 55
  6. (1994) 1 LLJ 125 (Bom)
  7. (1906) 22 T.L.R 669.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Animesh Nagvanshi
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: JU352315162703-6-0623

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly