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Trade Union Registration And Immunities Behind It

Trade union in layman’s term means an association of workers. The trade union is based on the principle of union is strength and united we stand divided we fall. Trade union act 1926 defines trade union as any combination.

Temporary or Permanent

Primary object to regulate relations between workers and employers for imposing any restrictive trade conditions.

Collective bargaining can be defined as the main motto or objective of trade unions. The purpose of formation of trade unions is to maintain balance, harmony and other proper adjustments relating to working of the union. Section 13 of the act embodies that every trade union after incorporation as a registered trade union becomes a legal person and acquires the status of a body corporate .By virtue of it being incorporated as a registered trade union certain rights and liabilities are accorded. It can acquire both movable and immovable property in its name.

In State bank of India officer’s association vs commissioner of wealth tax it was held that a registered trade union is liable to pay wealth tax. It can sue and be sued in respect of matters mentioned in the act. The trade union is granted both:
  • Civil immunity
  • Criminal immunity

Mode of Registration of Trade Unions:

  1. The whole process of registration in the case of trade union registration is vested with the registrar of trade unions. Section 3 of the act provides for the appointment of registrar of trade union. The section authorizes the appropriate government to appoint additional and deputy registrars for each state if it thinks fit. The additional and deputy registrars are appointed where the registrar of trade union is unable to discharge the powers and functions as prescribed.
  2. Section 4 of the act provides for registration
    · Any 7 or more members as signatories
    · Provided that there are 100 or 10% whichever is less are employed
Every trade union on registration maintain a copy of rules of the trade union containing names and details of persons there-under to be mentioned.

Immunities of Registered Trade Unions:

  • Section 17: Immunity from criminal liability
  • Section 18: Immunity from civil liability
  • Section 19: Privilege to make agreements in restraint of trade
Thus these sections of the Trade unions act confer special immunities of trade unions act which could be regarded as special advantages of a registered union. 

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