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LABOUR LAW PROJECT:

TRADE UNIONS AND ITS IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY:

SUBMITTED BY:

Gunjan Chandavat

ROLL NO. BC0140023

TAMIL NADU NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL


TIRUCHIRAPPALLI

ACADEMIC SESSION:
2016-2017

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TRADE UNIONS AND ITS IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY:

Abstract:

Though there have been voluminous articles presented on this matter, but the researcher would
like to give a comprehensive version of all the factors influencing productivity in the industrial
sector relating to trade union, which will be studied and put forth in the paper. Trade unions are
organisations that represent people at work. Their purpose is to protect and improve people's pay
and conditions of employment. They also campaign for laws and policies which will benefit
working people. Trade unions exist because an individual worker has very little power to
influence decisions that are made about his or her job. By joining together with other workers,
there is more chance of having a voice and influence, which helps the labourers. Keeping in
view the prevailing economic conditions and global recession, the trade unions apart from
protecting the interest of the workers also look after industrial growth of the country. The
workers, as part of the management, can improve the productivity and expand the business of the
industry. This way, a new industrial relation is formed to face the international competition.

The researcher will mainly deal with : How the political environment of the trade unions effects
on its working , how the emergence of trade unions effect the productivity in the industry,what
are the factors effecting productivity apart from political influence of trade union eg. Industrial
relation, govt policies

(key words: productivity, trade unions, political influence, industrial relations)

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TRADE UNIONS AND ITS IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY:
Introduction:

To begin with In a political struggle of class against class , organization of trade unions is the
most important weapon-Friedrich Engels. The emergence of trade unions in the world as well
as in India was with a need to achieve the basic goal which a labour group demands i.e. decent
standards of living for the social upliftment in the society.

Trade Union is defined as An organization whose membership consists of workers and union
leaders, united to protect and promote their common interests. The principal purposes of a labor
union are to (1) negotiate wages and working condition terms, (2) regulate relations between
workers (its members) and the employer, (3) take collective action to enforce the terms of
collective bargaining, (4) raise new demands on behalf of its members, and (5) help settle their
grievances. A trade union may be: (a) A company union that represents interests of only one
company and may not have any connection with other unions.1
The trade unions not only play a major role in regulating the relationship between the employer
and employee but also helps the industry in increasing its productivity and also checks the
supply of labour to various industries and in its shortage it tries to make available the surplus
workforce in other industries, they perspective of trade unions is now directed towards making
more profit by increasing productivity ,so that in return they can share the profit of their labour.

Now, moving on to determining the objectives, functions of the trade unions: The objectives
which necessitates the formation of union can be listed as :

1. It ensures security to the workers , in the sense that in this era of competition the
foremost requirement for a worker is its job security which is danger in cases of lock-out
and retrenchment.

1 http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/trade-union.html

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2. To avail better economic returns, there is saying that if a enthusiastic and dedicated
employees are needed by the organization for efficient working of the company then,
proper , timely payment of salary and perks should be done by the employers.

Satisfied employee = Efficient working of organisation

3. The power to influence management in their decisions, when a collective voice is


directed towards a common cause and the injustice caused then the management is bound
to pay heed to the needs of the workers/employees ,collective actions are witnessed in
history to bring an end to the injustice and workers have right to be heard.This results in
workers participating in the management & decision making (decisions affecting them).
4. Power to influence the government as well, with such a huge population coming together
can get legislations to be passed in their favour i.e. labour oriented legislation.

The major functions performed by any trade union are similar ,2 the specific may differ
according to their action areas and their agendas. Trade Unions is a legitimate means of
organizing workers otherwise the society would be either too paternalistic or dictatorial.

Increasing co-operation and friendliness among workers


The modern industry is complex and demands specialization in jobs. This results in
extreme division of labor, which leads to the growth of individualism and development
of impersonal and formal relationships. There is no common unifying bond among the
workers and hence trade union serves as a ground for discussing the common problems
faced in the industry.
Securing the facilities to be made available to workers
The workers to work in an industry certain basic facilities have to be provided to all and
through trade union it is better served.The employers may neglect some times , so it is
the trade unions who fight on behalf of the them.

Forming a bridge between the employers and workers:


In the current scenario there are big industries that are running, hebce it is impossible for
every worker to get in contact with the person sitting at the top most managerial position
to , the only medium is the trade union ,they help in establishing the contact.

2 http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/trade-unions/trade-unions-meaning-types-and-roles-of-trade-
unions/32746/

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Providing welfare to the employees:
In India most of the worker population is either illiterate or semi-literate trade unions
have to look that their needs are properly addressed , also assures them job security and
protects against the arbitrary power of the employer if any.

Section 2(h) of the Trade Unions Act 1926 defines Trade Union as a combination, temporary or
permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and
employer, workmen and workmen, or employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive
condition on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes the federation of two or more
trade unions. To determine whether a union exists or not the objects of the union is to be taken
into consideration, mere an organization cannot be referred as a trade union. In the case of Tamil
Nadu NGO Union v. Registrar, Trade Unions3 held that Tamil Nadu NGO Union, which was
an association of sub magistrates of the judiciary, tahsildars, etc., was not a trade union because
these people were engaged in sovereign and regal functions of the State where were its
inalienable functions. The above mentioned definition shows that the primary aim in formation
of a trade union is giving a voice to the employees & workers , for better communication
between the management and the employees.& gives a forum for the redressal of issues of
individual employees

Trade Unions can be broadly categorized into four categories:4

i. Craft Union: These represent a category of people who are employed in a particular skill.
Eg. Weavers,plumbers.
ii. General Union :These represent workers from a range of Industries
iii. Industrial Union: These represent a particular industry.Eg. textile industry
iv. White collar Union:These represent particular professionals .Eg.Doctor ,Teacher.

3 Tamil Nadu NGO Union vs Registrar, Trade Unions, AIR 1962, Madras HC

4 Ibid

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Emergence of Trade Union in India & In the World:

Looking at the development and spread of the trade union in India, it can be noted that there is a
well developed trade union existing in the formal sector whereas the growth of trade union in the
small & informal sector is negligible.

Now tracing the development of trade union at the global level , British trade union movement
owed its adaptability to the innovating impetus which began in the late I880s.There is no fixed
time period that can be mentioned in the case of Britain, the time periods have been divided over
the years.The expansion was witnessed at the end of First World War, with creation of new types
of trade union (including industrial trade union). Ideologically and politically the union
expansions. after 1889 marked a sharp turn to the left, the creation of a new cadre of leaders and
policy-makers-mostly inspired by various versions of socialism-and the association of the
movement with an independent working-class political party and, after 1918, a socialist
programme.5 From the beginning of 19th century, movement of trade union was found in
manycountries in the world, In 1836 the trade union commotion was found in Brussels, which
is treated as INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT OF TRADE UNION.

Coming to budding of Trade Union in India,it dates back to the Britishers era.There are various
stages along which the growth of trade unions can be discussed as follows:6

Prior to World War-I: The trade union movement in India goes back to the year 1875 under, the
leadership of Sorabji Shaparji. He started the agitation to draw the attention of the Government
to the poor condition of women and child labour in industries in India, This is followed by the
establishment of the Bombay Mills Hands Association in 1890 by this incidence shows that the

5E. J. Hobsbawm, Trade Union History, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2592163

6 http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/trade-unions/stages-of-the-development-of-trade-unions-in-
india/26115/

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workers raised their collective voice against the injustice happening to them.There was no full
fledged labour moment which can be noticed prior to First World War.

Between two World Wars: One of the noticeable change took place when, Mahatma Gandhi
came up with Ahmadabad Textile Labour Association, though the motive at that time was
different but it was an organized association.The next which came up systematically was Madras
Labour Union formed by P.P.Wadia in 1918. Further in the course of events, the Trade Unions
Act, 1926 was enacted which made registration mandatory, also there arose a difference of
opinion in the existing political party which led to the split among the parties

After Independence: This after math of partition era was marked a number of strikes and man
days lost were highest during this time.Different parties started coming up with their own unions
and the already established union INTUC started affiliated with International confederation of
free Trade Union.

How do the political environment affects the working of Trade Unions, it members at large.

Looking at this aspect of the Trade Unions which started to develop after the independence ,
when people started to politicize the labour unions environment, this marked the starting of
another phase of Indian Trade Union which led to the formation of political environment in the
Unions. The time during which the unions started politicizing it was the time when every source
was united against the foreign rule and this helped the political leaders to have their voice heard
to a number of people which was provided by the Union as a forum.

Multi-Unionism and political manipulation characterize the labour movement in India, at times
trade unions tend to threaten the stability of government and obstruct its growth. The emergence
of political environment can be traced prior 1947, the All India Union Congress was the only
trade union federation in India. The AITUC was formed in 1920, and in its few years was
affiliated with the Congress Party communists won control in1927, from this period onward we
can see an emergence of political rivalry between the communist and the congress party , which
ultimately led to formation of India National Trade Union Congress .7

7 Ralph James,Politics and Trade Unions in India, Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Mar., 1958), pp. 41-45

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Political unionism is used to define the characteristics of a labour movement heavily infused
with ideology-based political activities, which can include a struggle for national independence,
grass-roots mobilization for or against government policies, involvement in party politics and the
launching of election campaigns. Political trade unions were first established in the 1830s in
Great Britain as a means to campaign for factory legislation that would regulate working
conditions and ultimately reform the legislation affecting them, so as to increase the participation
of the working class. The political activities of trade unions have played an effective role in the
process of political independence during the colonial times and in the early industrialization
process.8

The types of relationships found to be existing between the trade unions and the political parties
could be classified into three main groups. The differences between these are only of degree and
not of kind. Firstly, there are the 'dependent unions', that are completely dominated by the
political parties. Such unions accept the leadership of their parent political parties in matters of
policy and function as labour wings of the parties concerned. The second type comprises of
those unions that function within the 'sphere of influence' of the political parties. Unions of this
type are semi-independent, but they lean heavily on parties for guidance in all important matters.
Finally, there are 'independent unions' that maintain close relationship with political parties. This
relationship is characterized by mutual understanding and non-interference.9

However, political unionism is not an optimal instrument to respond to the multiple interests of
union members and gain popularity from the masses in an advanced economy and mature
society. It is sometimes seen as a threat to the national economic development as well as a
privilege for a minor elite group of the working class. A conventional mass production system
that succeed in having mass employment kicked off industrial relations in India, which, over
time, have transformed of the global production system. The globalized economy with its new
and advanced technologies, stronger role of multinational corporations and neo-liberal markets

8http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/---sro
bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_143481.pdfSee also: 1 C.L. Johnson: The emergence of political unionism
in economics of British colonial origin: The case of Jamaica and Trinidad, in The American Journal of Economics
and Sociology (New Jersey, USA, Blackwell publishing, 1980), Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 151-164.

9 http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/55578/10/10_chapter%203.pdf

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has been a major cause of the change. While Indian trade unions have evolved along with the
countrys industrialization stages, they have equally evolved in relation with the dramatically
changing political regimes, leaving them heavily politicized.10

Many factors have contributed to the development of the political nature of Indian trade
unions:11 i) national political leaders inspired the birth of the All India Trade Union Congress
(AITUC) and many served as its leaders;

ii) trade unions aligned with political parties supported the fight for the countrys independence
from British colonial rule;

iii) government suppression to curb the communist-led militant labour movement from 1920 to
1950;

iv) the State being the largest employer in the public sector became a negotiating actor in
collective bargaining processes

v) the Trade Unions Act permits trade unions to appoint outsiders as office bearers, thus many
of the appointees are politicians and retired bureaucrats whose role is to resolve labour issues
through political resources.

Section.22 of the Trade Unions Act talks about that the non-working members can also form the
part of union but has to be just 25% of the total members.12

Thus, Indian trade unions have been shaped to defend union rights, maximize influence on
society and politics and to help union leaders pursue their political ambitions. The political
dependency of trade unions traces back to British colonization. The dependency continued after
independence in 1947, although trade unions remained for a long while a central and dominant
force in India, generally capable of securing benefits for members and often embarrassing the
10Ibid , See also: A. Gamble (4th ed.): Britain in decline: Economic policy, political strategy and the
British state (London, Macmillan, 1994).; G.S. Bain (ed.): Industrial relations in Britain (Oxford, Basil
Blackwell, 1993).

11 Ibid

12 SupraNo.7

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political party in power.13 In fact, the relatively small portion of the organized labour force in
India has been characterized as economically elitist and politically conservative and less
representative.14 Union influence on labour policies at any given time was, and remains, largely
dependent upon labours relationship with the government in power.

Inter-Union Rivalry Powerful political parties have established their own trade unions with the
intention of spreading their political power. This causes an inadequate and unhealthy growth of
trade unions. Most trade unions have developed inter-union rivalries and groups that are in
constant competition against each other. Members' energy has been wasted on deconstructive
activities, and unions have become more political. This situation really affects cordial industrial
relations.15 Inter union rivalry is an issue at present very prevalent in India.

Now, in such a situation when politics have been made an essential part of the Union, there
arises another issue in which the unions which they were originally formed with a purpose of
protecting the rights of workers through collective bargaining, as the focus has been totally

13Ibid ,See also : K.R. Shyam Sunder: What should indian trade unions do? An agenda for trade
unions at the risk of sermonising, in The Indian Journal of Labour Economics (New Delhi, Indian
Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), 2008), Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 158-163.

14 Ibid , See also : C. Candland and W. College: The cost of incorporation: Labour institutions,
industrialrestructuring and new trade union strategies in India and Pakistan, pp. 69-94, in C. Candland
and R. Sil (eds.): The politics of labour in a global age: Continuity and change in lateindustrialising
and post-socialist economies (New York, Oxford University Press, 2001).;

D. Bhattacherjee: Organized labour and economic liberalisation in India: Past, present and
future, pp. 307-345, in A.V. Jose (ed.): Organized labour in the 21st century (Geneva, ILO,
2002).; S. Davala (ed.): Employment and unionisation in Indian industry (New Delhi, Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung (FES), 1992).

15 S. Rajesh*Dr. Manoj P K, POLITICIZATION OF TRADE UNIONS AND CHALLENGES TO


INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS IN INDIA: A STUDY WITH A FOCUS ON NORTHERN KERALA

10
diverted the sole purpose of that fails i.e to maintain cordial relations between the employer and
employee/worker and the unpredictable changes in the attitude of the trade union leaders.16

Now, coming to the registration aspect of the Trade unions which has become necessary after the
enactment of the Trade Unions Act, 1926.Before the enactment of this Act, the workers were
denied the fundamental right of association.

Features of the Act:17

1. It provides for the registration of trade unions with the Registrar of the Trade Unions. It
empowers the Registrar to call for further particulars and to require alteration of names and to
issue or cancel the certificate of registration.

2. It provides that every registered trade union shall be a body corporate and shall have
perpetual succession and a common seal.

3. It lays down (i) the right and liabilities of registered trade unions, (ii) objects on which
general funds of trade unions may be spent. (iii) constitution of a separate fund for political
purposes, etc.

4. It provides to the registered trade unions or any of its office-bearers or members, immunity
from civil suits in certain cases.

5. It provides that certain Acts shall not apply to registered trade unions. These Acts are as
follows:

i. The Societies Registration Act, 1860

ii. The Cooperative Societies Act, 1912

iii. The Companies Act, 1956.

The four procedure involved in registration of trade unions are as follows:18

16 Ibid

17 http://osnacademy.com/contentImage/94140920Unions574534Trade%%20Act,%201926.pdf

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1. Appointment of Registrar

2. Mode of Registration

3. Rights and Duties of Registrar

4. Legal Status of Registered Trade Union.

1. Appointment of Registrar:

Section 3 of the Trade Union Act, 1926 empowers the appropriate Government to
appoint a person to be registrar of Trade Unions. The appropriate Government be it
State or Central, as the case may be is also empowered to appoint additional and
Deputy Registrars as it thinks fit for the purpose of exercising and discharging the
powers and duties of the Registrar and such person should be able to discharge
properly.

2. Mode of Registration:

Any seven or more persons who want to form trade union, can apply for its registration to the
Registration of Trade Unions under Section 4 (1) of the Trade Unions Act, 1926. These
applicants must be members of a trade union.

There are certain rights given only to registered trade union which includes: They have right to
declare strikes, no civil proceedings can be brought against them, along with these rights they
have certain obligations to be fulfilled-filing annual returns to the registrar and maintaining of
accounts etc. and if there is any case of non-compliance that would result in non-compliance and
eventually cancellation of the registration would be the consequence.

Cases relating to section7 of the Trade Unions Act:

18 http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/trade-unions/procedures-for-the-registration-of-trade-
unions/35465/

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In the case of re Indian Steam Navigation Workers Union 19 held that a Registrar only has to
see whether all the technical requirements are being fulfilled and not whether it could be
described as unlawful.
In the case of ACC Rajanka Limestone Quarries Worker's Union vs Registrar of Trade
Unions20, , it was held that if the registrar does not register the trade union within 3 months of
application, an appeal can be made to the High Court under art 22621

Cases on the immunity available to registered Trade Union:

In the case of West India Steel Company Ltd. vs Azeez22, a trade union leader obstructed work
inside the factory for 5 hrs while protesting against the deputation of a workman to work another
section. It was held that while in a factory, the worker must submit to the instructions given by
his superiors. A trade union leader has no immunity against disobeying the orders. A trade union
leader or any worker does not have any right by law to share managerial responsibilities. A trade
union can espouse the cause of workers through legal ways but officials of a trade union cannot
direct other workers individually or in general about how to do their work. They do not have the
right to ask a worker to stop his work or otherwise obstruct the work of the establishment. An
employer may deal with a person causing obstruction in work effectively.23

In the case of P Mukundan and others vs Mohan Kandy Pavithran24, it was held that strike
per se is not an actionable wrong. Further, it was held that the trade union, its officers, and its
members are immune against legal proceedings linked with the strike of workmen by the

19 re Indian Steam Navigation Workers Union AIR 1936 SC

20 ACC Rajanka Limestone Quarries Worker's Union vs Registrar of Trade Unions AIR 1958

21 http://hanumant.com/TradeUnion.html

22 West India Steel Company Ltd. vs Azeez, 1990 Kerala

23 Ibid

24 P Mukundan and others vs Mohan Kandy Pavithran,1992 Kerala

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provisions of section 18.
In the leading case of Rohtas Industries Staff Union vs State of Bihar25, it was held that
employers do not have the right to claim damages against the employee participating in an
illegal strike and thereby causing loss of production and business.
In the case of Simpson & Group Companies Workers & Staff Union vs Amco Batteries
Ltd26, it was held that physical obstruction of movement of management officials,
contractors, goods, or vehicles carrying raw materials, is not a trade union right or a fundamental
right under art 19. Immunity under section 18 cannot be claimed for such activities. Right to
picket is a very intangible right and it extends only up to the right of free movement of others.
27
The methods of persuasion are limited to oral and visual and do not include physical
obstruction of vehicles or persons.

The emergence of trade unions effecting the productivity in the industry: Regarding this
aspect of , it has to be gauged from the emergence of trade union. While the political
environment has already been focused earlier the other positive effects should not be neglected.

Productivity can be connoted with higher living standard for employees , more profit for
company and lower prices for the consumers, hence it becomes necessary to address the linkage
between the work of trade union and its effect on productivity.

The trade unions have primarily effected the wages of the workers by paying them to their full
productivity, the bargaining power has only improved to a significant extent by formation of
trade unions and also by restricting the supply of labour in a particular market the wages can be
improved by a good level , not only in the nominal wage is effected but also the real wage is
effected by the improvement in the working conditions of the employment and by making the
employers to pay a share of their profit in addition to this to initiate the policies which increase
the production of industry and give the labour the benefit of the increased productivity. Apart,
from representing the issues of the employers, unions also carry out social responsibility like,
25 Rohtas Industries Staff Union vs State of Bihar,AIR 1963

26 Simpson & Group Companies Workers & Staff Union vs Amco Batteries Ltd 1992 Karn

27 Ibid

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improving the level of production & productivity, following the policies which are conducive to
the development of industry and the economy as a whole and also upholding the social
responsibility principle. 28

The main objective of trades unions is to improve the standard of living of workers. This can
only be achieved only if jobs of high quality are created and wealth is generated. It has been
established beyond doubt that high productivity leads to higher living standards via wealth
creation. Therefore, if productivity increases, living standards of workers can increase.29Along
with this unions should also look into the distribution of wealth in the company, that should be
equitable.

In India a study was done based on the data collected during 1939-56, which focused on the
unionization in India , in the analysis it was found out that wages of the worker depended on the
degree of unionization, cost of living index and productivity,as pointed out earlier that increase
in wages is a means through which productivity can be calculated, hence this shows that impact
of the unionization is positive but not significant.30

There is another study which was conducted,for the period of 1959-69 , this main findings of
this study was that the results show negative but insignificant impact of the unionization on
money wages.The observesvation was that the influence of unionism could perhaps be
understood indirectly in terms of union pressure for neutralising the cost of living, and there is
reason to believe that an increase in the degree of unionism is accompanied by rivalry and
factionalism and to that extent, it reduces their effectiveness.31

The above two research have been done at different point of time , and even shows two
contradictory stories, but reason behind the same is the trade unions are fragmented ,as a result

28 http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/41250/6/06_chapter%202.pdf

29 Ibid

30 Ramjas, Trade Unions and Wages: A Study of Selected Manufacturing Industries in India, Indian Journal of
Industrial Relations, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jan., 1989), pp. 269-280,

31 Ibid

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there is no direct benefit which is derived from it, but the other fact cannot be denied that the
establishment of industrial tribunals , other changes in legislation which have proved favourable
to the wages.

CONCEPT OF PRODUCTIVITY IN MAJOR AREAS OF ILO:

One of the early occasions in describing the place of productivity in the ILO is the World
Employment Conference of 1976 which recommended that an essential element of any
employment centred development strategy is an increase in the volume and productivity of
work. Similarly, the 1986 Resolution on the Contribution of the ILO to Production and
Productivity also emphasizes that productivity improvement must serve the wellbeing of the
people and noted that higher productivity is necessary in order to assure economic growth and
that it is underlining the quantity and quality of employment.32This resolution made it
compulsory for ILO to undertake advisory services to strengthen the tri-partite machinery as
well to assist trade unions to raise the level of productivity and production and hence raising the
standard of living.

Economic Reforms and Trade Unionism:

In the pre-liberalised Indian society, the state maintained a complex set of labour regulations that
aimed at strengthening trade unions, improving wage outcomes and increasing job security in
the formal economy. Governmental intervention to strengthen the position of workers vis-vis
employers has led to the passing of many labour laws by both the central and the state
governments. These laws dealt with issues like employment, minimum wages, other benefits, job
security, dismissal, industrial disputes, formation of trade union and collective bargaining.
Apparently, these labour regulations have contributed to the strength of the Indian trade unions
by making job security, wage rate and other benefits 'statutory compulsions' for the employers of
factories. But contrarily, these laws have also made our unions and workers dependent on the
Government machinery for settling any issue.The pre-reform industrial relations in India are,
therefore, typically marked by third party intervention that stood in the way of a rapid growth of
genuine collective bargaining. In fact, it has been argued that state regulations have perpetuated,

32 Productivity improvement and the role of trade unions, https://www.jtuc-


rengo.or.jp/news/rengonews/data/20160120_manual.pdf

16
if not also actively contributed, to a weak and divided labour movement that remained dependent
on external prop.33

Problems like fragmentation and intra-union rivalry, narrow sectarianism and lack of ideological
base, short-time objectives, economism and electoral considerations for trade union struggle,
corrupt leadership with managerial support, etc., broadly characterize trade unionism in post-
independent India. The existence of a vast pool of unorganized labour has made the unions
inherently weak. Since the LPG policy came, with dismantling the old structures of control and
regulations.The new policy has made the employer so powerful as they can hire & fire any time
the employees.New reforms in the registration of trade union has been made more stringent i.e
trade unions face a threat to lose recognition if substantial support is not there.The casual and
temporary workers in the informal sectors generally remain less enthusiastic about union
activity.34

Recommendations:

There should be further amendments in the trade union Act, which the present government is
trying achieve , but due to the political nature of the union which is present, it has not been
successful as opposition is there from the unions supported by the other party. In some areas of
the country where the unions are too strong there has been hindrance in the growth of the
industries in that area, taking the example of West Bengal where the unionization is too strong
there has been very slow growth of industries in the state which is a harmful effect of breeding
unions, and also there has been huge opposition if there is any legislation favoring the private
sector people from the trade union. There can be huge negative impact which can be seen in the
workings of the trade unions, as they try to propagate their political ideology on the public.
Thus it is inferred that a trade union can have positive as well as negative impacts , and
unionization can be seen in more public sector rather than in private companies because of mere
fact that they try to serve their workers well and if managerial level employee try to form union
or if there is any aid from that employee, though there is no provisions of any legislation which
handle this and hence companies have carved out its own strategies to curb such practices at
33 Ibid

34 Ibid

17
managerial level, and we see less or no formation of trade unions at the managerial level because
the formation of such unions is discouraged by the industry and taken seriously by the
management.

Hence, it is not always possible to lay down everything in the legislature , some decisions are
based on facts and circumstances of the situation and to suggest that instead of laying down
everything in the legislation , some discretion should also be given to the persons implementing
such Acts/ statues in their day to day functioning, and strict implementation of statues should not
be there because it may fetter the decision making power of the management in an industry but
in the present Act related to trade union , there is need and scope for some change

Conclusion:

A labour being the basic unit in an industry, its legislation has been subject to many changes in
the past years, the trade unions have started changing their rudimentary methods have moulded
with the changing times, one the major change that was observed was the enactment of the LPG
policy which bought a sweeping changes in the economy, and of it was the effect also felt by the
trade unions in their working, it started to change its approach from the strike oriented to the
conciliation & settlement oriented through peaceful means,the acceptance of changes in the
technology structure has also been seen among the workers and the trade union, it has gone
through a process of re-structuring, along with this trade unions are also concerned with
increasing the productivity in the respective industry and in return ask for higher wages.The shift
in the public sector enterprises can also be observed from management versus worker to
collectively solving the problem. There has been appreciable changes in the trade unions
strategy over time but in some industries problems are still persistent.

There is a mushroom growth of trade unions which is taking place in India as well as in other
countries, the only benefit of this growing unions can be observed in the jute and other textile
industries, we dont need a number of unions but the ones which can do productive work. The
growth of unions in the unorganized sector has been less as compared to the organized ones.For
the proper and smooth functioning of trade unions there has to be democracy even in the inside
working to the union and the political influence which the union has is good to a certain extent

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only and political influence should not alienate the workers who do not show much interest
in the political activities, but should fairly represent every trade union( this is the true
spirit behind the unions).

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ANNEXURE:

Review of Literature: ARTICLES REFERRED:

1. E. J. Hobsbawm, Trade Union History, The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol.
20, No. 2 (Aug., 1967), pp. 358-364 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2592163

This article talks how the trade unions came into existence it lays down a complete
history of Britain and the different periods under which the trade unions were active &
the reasons behind their actions during that period and how did it affect the society.

2. V. I. Lenin, Role and Functions of the Trade UnionsUnder The New Economic Policy,
https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/dec/30.htm

The roles & functions of trade unions , how the changing economic policy affect them, is
well established in this article,how there was a paradigm shift from capitalistic to
soacialistic and again to capitalistic in the present era.

1. Sodhi, J. S, Trade Unions in India: Changing Role & Perspective, Indian Journal of
Industrial Relations, https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-367966185/trade-
unions-in-india-changing-role-perspective

This article talks about the changing roles of the trade union over a period of time.It
shows how before independence the unions were not thought as a means of contributing
to the economic sphere of the country, whereas after the independence government
started recognizing the unions and entering into agreements with the trade unions.

2. Charles Brown and James Medoff, Trade Unions in the Production Process, Journal of
Political Economy, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1833158

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This article finds the positive union productivity and its implications, the study about the
how a union worker and a non-union worker tends to have a differtial wage rate or not,
how a union and non-union worker co-exist under the same industry.

3. Ramjas, Trade Unions and Wages: A Study of Selected Manufacturing Industries in


India, Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jan., 1989), pp. 269-280,
http://www.jstor.org/stable/27767048

The main function of trade union is to make available the basic necessities ,one if it being
securing proper wages for its members, this article focuses on the need to bargain
for better facilities.Through this article it is put forth that the high proportional relation
between wages & trade union in a country.

4. D. K. Srivastava,,Trade Union Situation in India: Views of Central Trade Union


Organisations (CTUOs), Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resource,
http://www.jstor.org/stable/27767744

There are some problems faced by the trade unions continuously but specifically after the
opening up of Indian domestic market some of the problems and challenges have creped
into trade unions regarding the leadership , this article measures the reaction of the trade
unions to 1991 policy.

5. BERT SEIDMAN,ILO ACCOMPLISHMENTSORGANIZED LABOR'S VIEW,


Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 98, No. 5 (May 1975), pp. 37-39,
http://www.jstor.org/stable/41839983

This articles lays down the different faces of ILO , which is political & non-political ,the
various functions carried out by the ILO which includes research etc., over the years ILO

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has laid down basic principles one of it is recognizing the trade union rights and other
human rights in the area of industrial working.

6. OSCAR A. ORNATI,Problems of Indian Trade Unionism, The Annals of the American


Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 310
The above mentioned article focuses on the issues which the Trade Unions have faced
over the years starting from the pre-independence to post. The key feature observed of
trade union is there link to the politically active parties and how each party put forth its
views through the medium of unions in the field of labour law. The article also points
towards how the change in government in turn changes the labour law legislations over
time.
7. Mohammed Mwamadzingo and Paliani Chinguwo,PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT
AND THE ROLE OF TRADE UNIONS,A workers educational manual,ILO(2015)

This lays down ,the reason behind the trade unions running behind productivity of an
industry,as the objective of trade union is to get a increased payments for its members
and increased productivity will in turn lead to better perks for its employees and better
labour standards promotion of employment etc.
8. David Metcalf ,Unions and Productivity, Financial Performance and Investment:
International Evidence, International Handbook of Trade Unions, Edward Elgar, 2003.

This paper seeks to analyze the presence of a union at workplace and how their
objectives gets fulfilled , with or without the simultaneous increase in the productivity
and what are the repercussions if the increase in productivity is not achieved , then the
result on financial health and on other related factors will be worse.This paper gives a
overall view of different countries .
9. Ralph James,Politics and Trade Unions in India, Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 27, No. 3
(Mar., 1958), pp. 41-45

This article mainly deals with the issues of the multi-unionism which exists in India ,
tends the threaten the functions of government and its policy implementation, and how to
eliminate the manipulation created by the political environment in the trade union and
how far it is serving the purpose of employees.

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10. Biswajit Ghosh,Economic Reforms and Trade Unionism in India A Macro View, Indian
Journal of Industrial Relations Vol. 43, No. 3 (Jan., 2008), pp. 355-384

This article reflects how the trade unions have worked over the years and how are they
struggling to survive by reducing the inter rivalry between them and to ensure better
efficiency and productivity through democracy, there have been detectable changes in the
unions strategy over the years and the to increase the limits beyond the the political
influence.

BOOKS REFERRED:

1. Prof.K.M.Pillai, Labour &Industrial Laws, ALLAHABAD LAW AGENCY,16th


Edition,2014

The author gives an insight into rights & liabilities of trade unions,Pg no.32 to44, immunity to
trade unions are discussed which the researcher would like include in its document along with
power to make regulation and penalties.

2. S.N.Mishra,Labour & Industrial Laws,Central Law Publications,27th Edition,2013

In this book, chapter- 3, 4& 5 deal with the aspects of trade unions legislation and the procedure
followed in India,frm Pg no. 368-390,examples have been cited from day to day aspects to get a
clear understanding of the subject , along with the major historical events in the arena of labour
law .

3. S.C.Srivastava,Industrial Relations and Labour Laws,Vikas Publication House


Pvt.Ltd.,6th Edition,

The author has dealt in detail about registration of union,members and recognition and
priviledges to union in chapters 6,7,9,10, Pg no. 83 to 109, 117 to 132, these chapters have in

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depth analysis of the every aspect of trade union, which will be beneficial to the researcher (from
registration to disqualification).

4. Dr.H.K.Saharay,Textbooks on Labour & Industrial Law,6th EditionUniversal Law


Publication Co.

This books deals with the Trade Union Act,1926, in detail which also entails disputes relating to
the same which will be helpful in getting a clear picture.

5. Dr. V.G. Goswami , Labour and Industrial Laws, 10th edition , Central Law Agency

The author has dealt the procedure regarding the trade union,and along with the act 1926, which
the researcher finds of utmost importance to gauge the amendment in legislation and properly
apply in day to day functioning of the union.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Primary Sources:

Trade Unions Act,1926

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ACC Rajanka Limestone Quarries Worker's Union vs Registrar of Trade Unions AIR 1958

P Mukundan and others vs Mohan Kandy Pavithran,1992 Kerala

re Indian Steam Navigation Workers Union AIR 1936 SC

Rohtas Industries Staff Union vs State of Bihar,AIR 1963

Simpson & Group Companies Workers & Staff Union vs Amco Batteries Ltd 1992 Karn

Tamil Nadu NGO Union vs Registrar, Trade Unions, AIR 1962, Madras HC

West India Steel Company Ltd. vs Azeez, 1990 Kerala

Secondary Sources:

E. J. Hobsbawm, Trade Union History, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2592163

Productivity improvement and the role of trade unions, https://www.jtuc-


rengo.or.jp/news/rengonews/data/20160120_manual.pdf

Ralph James,Politics and Trade Unions in India, Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Mar.,
1958), pp. 41-45

S. Rajesh*Dr. Manoj P K, POLITICIZATION OF TRADE UNIONS AND CHALLENGES TO


INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS IN INDIA: A STUDY WITH A FOCUS ON NORTHERN
KERALA

Ramjas, Trade Unions and Wages: A Study of Selected Manufacturing Industries in India, Indian
Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jan., 1989), pp. 269-280,

Webliography:

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/trade-union.html

http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/trade-unions/trade-unions-meaning-types-and-roles-of-trade-
unions/32746/

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http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/---sro

http://osnacademy.com/contentImage/94140920Unions574534Trade%%20Act,%201926.pdf

http://hanumant.com/TradeUnion.html

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