Trade union is based on the concept of collective bargaining. According to
International Labour Organization collective bargaining is a fundamental right
and accepted as part of right to work under ILO Declaration on Fundamental
Principles and Rights at Work (1998). The concept of collective bargaining is
recognized by the Constitution of India. The International Labour
Organization Convention No. 154 has defined collective bargaining as
negotiation between the employer and the workers' union in respect of working
conditions or terms of employment.
The Constitution of India is the country's main legislation.
of India protects and promotes the right to collective bargaining under Article
19 of the Constitution of India under two significant provisions:
- Freedom of speech and expression:
Article 19(1)(a) provides the right to freedom of speech and expression
which is one of the most important fundamental rights which provide every
citizen to express their views or to express dissent. Thus, every citizen
has the right to speech and expression, which can be exercised individually
or in groups.
- The right to form an association or union:
Article 19(1)(c) provides the right to form an association or union which
can be said to the foundation of the trade unions in India.
Rights of Trade Union
The Trade Union Act, 1926 was adopted to provide procedures for the
registration of trade unions in India and provides for legal provisions related
to the registered trade union. The Act sets forth the rights and
responsibilities of a registered trade union under Chapter III of the Trade
Union Act, 1926.
It is important to note that the provisions of the Act,
including the rights conferred under the Unions Act, 1926, apply only to
registered unions. A registered trade union is given a certificate of
registration by the Registrar which is conclusive evidence that the trade union
has complied with the provisions of the Trade Union Act.
Upon completion of the registration process, the trade union becomes a legal
entity and acquires the rights of a similar legal entity:
- Perpetual succession
- Common seal
- Power to acquire and hold both movable and immovable property
- To contract
- The right to sue and be sued
The right to create funds:
A union may establish a general fund for use in accordance with the Act. A trade
union can also create a separate fund to be used for political purposes only.
The General Fund and the Political Fund shall be administered separately in
accordance with the provisions of the Trade Unions Act, 1926.
A criminal conspiracy is an offense under section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.
No office bearer or any member of the trade union can be charged for criminal
conspiracy if such act is done for the furtherance of the lawful objects of the
Immunity from civil suit in certain matters:
The office bearer and members of a trade union have immunity from civil suit in
certain matters which is done for furtherance of the object of the trade union.
Right to inspect books and a list of members:
Office bearer and member of a trade union has right to inspect the account books
of a trade union. The office bearer or any member of the trade union have right
to see the list of the members of the trade union.
A minor is a person who has not attained the age of majority. A minor has who
has attained the age of 15 can become of a Union and enjoys all the rights of a
member. A minor cannot be appointed as the office bearer of a trade union.
A trade union subject to the requirements of the Act may request a name change.
Amalgamation is combining two or more trade unions into a single a unit. The
process of amalgamation is given in the Trade Union Act, 1926 and after
completion of the process; the Registrar shall register the trade union as a new
The Union is a vital part of industrial peace and progress. It helps protect
workers' rights and represents and negotiates on behalf of workers. It helps to
ensure that workers receive better wages and better working conditions. Trade
unions play a major role in labour relations. A trade union is a link between
employer and workers. The Constitution of India has very well provided for the
welfare of workers by granting the fundamental right to form an association or
union. The union plays a crucial role in industrial peace and development and
protects workers' rights.
Written by: Savita Yashvant Kale, MSW, Yashwantrao Chavan School of
Social Work, Satara
- Article 19(1 )(c) of the Constitution of India
- Body corporate
I am thankful to Mr Bhaishailendra Mane (Incharge Vice Principle) for his