CHARACTERISTICS OF A TRADE UNION - Industrial Relations Management

Trade unions are voluntary associations formed for the pursuit of protecting the common interests of its members and also promote welfare.They protect the economic, political and social interests of their members.

Features of Trade Unions

The Features of trade unions are :

  1. It is an association either of employers or employees or of independent workers. They may consist of :
    • Employers’ association (eg. Employer’s Federation of India,Indian paper mill association, etc.)
    • General labor unions
    • Friendly societies
    • Unions of intellectual labor (e.g. All India Teachers Association)
  2. It is formed on a continuous basis. It is a permanent body and not a casual or temporary one. They persist throughout the year.
  3. It is formed to protect and promote all kinds of interests –economic, political and social-of its members. The dominant interest with which a union is concerned is, however, economic.
  4. It achieves its objectives through collective action and group effort. Negotiations and collective bargaining are the tools for accomplishing objectives.
  5. Trade unions have shown remarkable progress since their inception; moreover, the character of trade unions has also been changing. In spite of only focusing on the economic benefits of workers,the trade unions are also working towards raising the status of labors as a part of industry.

Need for Trade Union

  • Trades unions are essential for the protection of workers in the world of work. The individual is weak and easily exploited where there are no unions around; I have witnessed some of the horrendous practices employers get up to when there is no union protection for workers.
  • Unions are necessary where this sort of abuse is prevalent; needless to say there was no union at this plant which has since closed down.


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