Role Of Trade Unions

Role of trade unions

Although trade unions look after the interests of their members, they also recognise the advantages of working in partnership with employers. This is because a successful, profitable business is good for workers and therefore good for the union and its members.

f you recognise a trade union in your workplace, you will probably have agreed with the union to bargain with it about the terms and conditions of employment of those workers who fall within a defined bargaining unit.

Sometimes, that bargaining unit will include all workers but it is common for the unit to include just certain categories of worker, eg production line operatives or technicians.  The objective of such collective bargaining is to conclude a collective agreement with the trade union. Where an independent trade union is recognised, the employer is obliged to disclose information to the trade union to facilitate the bargaining process.

A collective agreement is between a recognised trade union (or group of unions) and an employer (or groups of employers). Most typically, they set out the terms and conditions – eg pay, benefits and working time – to be included in the employment contracts of the workers in the bargaining unit. Other collective agreements are purely procedural and regulate the working relationship between the union(s) and the employer.

In india

Trade Unionism had made its headway owing to growth of industrialization and capitalism. The Indian trade union movement is now over fifty years old. It has passed through several stages in its career. Periods of frustration and bitter struggle have alternated with occasions of recognition, consolidation, and achievements. This research article mainly focuses on the roles and objectives of Trade Union in India. Researchers have included present working conditions, identifying the needs of Trade Unions, social responsibilities, working methodology of Trade Unions, significance of Trade Unions and role of Trade Unions in collective bargaining because Trade Unions had made a great impact on social, political and economic life.The objective for which formation of trade union takes place in the recognition of law is to spread industrial peace with aim to provide social, economical justice to people at large but this function can only be performed if the members of the trade unions are provided with civil liberty and democratic rights by the society they live in. at the end of research article Researchers have mentioned the problems being faced by Trade Unions in India and suggestions for the success of Trade Unions.

Trade unions are a major component of the system of modern industrial relations in any nation, each having their own set of objectives or goals to achieve according to their constitution and each having its own strategy to reach those goals.[1]Union of workers plays an important role in industrial system. Annually statics on Trade Unions are collected by Ministry of Labour, Government of India’s Labour Bureau. Right to form Trade Union in a fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (c) of the Indian Constitution. After the First World War there was a need for the coordination among individual unions which leads towards the trade union movement in India. Gradually this movement becomes an essential part of industrial progress in India. Apart from economic, social and political are dimensions of Trade Unions in India.

Objectives and Need of Trade Union

  • Wages and salaries-Wages and salaries and the most important subjects of Trade Unions. In the organized industry, wages and benefits are determined through processes such as collective bargaining, wage boards, conciliation, and adjudication. Working of all these processes deserves systematic inquiry. Union power and objective facts hopefully influence the wage scene through these forums.
  •   Working conditions-Another major objective of the Trade Unions is to insure the safety of workers. While working every worker must be provided with basic facilities like. Drinking water, minimum working hours, paid holidays, social security, safety equipments, lights and others.
  • Personnel policies-Any personal policy of the employer with respect to promotion, transfer and training may be challenge by Trade Unions if arbitrary.
  • Discipline-Trade Unions also protect the workers from arbitrary discipline action taken by management against any worker. No worker should be victimized by management in the form of arbitrary transfer or suspension.
  • Welfare-The main objective of the Trade Union is to work for the welfare of the workers. This includes welfare of the family members or children of the worker.
  • Employee and Employer Relations-for an industrial peace there must be harmony between employer and employee. But due to superior power of the management sometimes conflict arises in this situation Trade Union represent the whole group of workers and continue negotiations with management.
  • Negotiating Machinery-Trade Unions may also put proposals before management, as this policy is based on the principle of “Give and Take” Trade Unions protect the interest of workers through collective bargaining.

Functions of Trade Unions in India

  • Collective Bargaining-Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has defined Collective bargaining as“the technique by which dispute as to conditions of employment is resolved amicably by agreement rather than coercion”in this process negotiations and discussions take place between employer and employee in respect to working conditions.Refusing to bargain collectively is an illegal trade practice. Collective bargaining helps to resolve the issues of workers. Collective Bargaining is the foundation of the movement and it is in the interest of labour that statutory recognition has been accorded to Trade Union and their capacity to represent workmen.
  •  Trade Unions protect the worker from wages hike, provides job security through peaceful measures.
  •  Trade Unions also help in providing financial and non-financial aid to the workers during lock out or strike or in medical need.
  •  It has also to be borne in mind while making an agreement that the interest of the workers who are not the members of Trade Union are also protected and the workers who are not members of the Trade Union are also protected and the workers are not discriminated.

Significance of the Trade Union’s establishment  

Trade unions fills the void which was obstructing the attainment of industrial peace and social justice any decision arrived by virtue of deliberation with employer through trade union should be followed strictly by the labours which forms the part of that trade union as it improves the working condition, wages they get and other matters related to employment as the trade unions helps the labors in their bad days like the personal accidents or at the time of retrenchment or lockouts . There are many welfare measures are taken for supporting the workmen example of which is legal assistance, housing schemes and education to children of workers so these functions of trade union makes its existence significant for social justice.

Trade unions perform substantial roles in increasing the wages of the workers. This role may not be observed by direct method but indirectly wages can be increased by the actions of Trade unions like assurance can be there from the trade union regarding the payment of marginal productivity level which can be done by increasing bargaining capacity and power. Trade union can stop supply of labours in the specific trade which may have consequence of increased wage.


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