Measures to strength Trade Unions - Industrial Relations Management

Measures to Strengthen trade Union Movement in India

The following are some of the measures to minimize trade union problems and to strengthen the Trade Union Movement of India.

  1. United Labour Front
  2. Unions must put a joint front. Splinter groups multiple unions dissipate their energies, dilute their power and reduce their effectiveness. Trade unions should form a sort of labour party and all the trade unions in the country should be affiliated to it. It gives adequate strength to the trade unions both industry and labour.

  3. Efficient Leadership
  4. Outside political leadership has developed due to the absence of internal leadership. Outside leadership is the main cause for the multiple problems of the trade unions. These problems can be eradicated through the development of leadership talents from within. Management should encourage internal workers to lead their own movement. Management and trade unions should provide educational and training facilities for the development of internal leadership.

  5. Membership Fees
  6. In order to make members updated Trade unions must organize continuous training and developmental programmes. Future needs smart and responsive Trade Unions, if they have to survive and thrive.

  7. The Trade Union Act should be amended in order to avoid dual membership.
  8. Unions should not intervene in day-to-day matters. They must focus on important issues affecting workers.

Other Measures

  • Trade unions should extend welfare measures to the members and actively pursue social responsibilities. Social responsibility of Trade Unions should go beyond their limited constituency within members only.
  • The Trade Union Act, 1926 should be amended and the number of members required to form a trade union should be increased from 7 to 50% of the employees of an organization. Similarly, the scope for the outside leadership should be reduced from 50% to about 10%. The membership subscription should be enhanced from 25 paisa to 1 % of the monthly wage of the worker.
  • Trade Unions should make efforts to raise their declining membership which is world over phenomenon.
  • Trade Union must broaden their base membership in unorganized sectors, which constitute about 92% of work force and IT sectors/BPO/Call Centers where most of the employment is coming attracting and retaining new breed of workers by monitoring them.
  • Trade Unions must reorient themselves:

  1. From political/ideology obsession to Business Union - Partners in progress, sharing the gains.
  2. Protesting organization to Partnering organization
  3. Bureaucratic organization to democratic and service organization
  4. Complacency to struggle
  5. Power-hunger to service orientation.
  • Trade Unions should be smart, IT savvy on-line working to have connectivity to employees abroad as also International Trade Unions and other Trade bodies.
  • Trade Unions have to adapt to new realities in new business environment. “The simple notion of solidarity is now outdated, a narrow concept to encompass the mutual supports of those whose positions and interests are different.”(Zoll - 1996). Solidarity concept is getting diluted because of diversities in work force and increasing individualization industry). The degree of unionism also varies from industry to industry, varying between to 30-70 per cent in coal, cotton textiles, iron and steel, tobacco,railways, cement, banking, insurance, ports and docks, etc. The degree of unionism is quite negligible in the agricultural and unorganized sector.

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