REGISTRATION OF TRADE UNIONS - Industrial Relations Management

Appointment of Registrars (Section 3)

As regards registration of a trade union, the Act empowers the appropriate Government to appoint a person to be the Registrar of Trade Union for each state. The appropriate Government may appoint as many additional and deputy registrar’s trade unions as it think fit. They shall work under the superintendence and direction of the Registrar. The appropriate Government shall specify and define the local limits within which any additional and Deputy Registrar shall exercise and discharge his powers and functions.

Mode of Registration

Application for registration: Ant 7 or more members of a trade union may, by subscribing their name to the rules of the trade union and by otherwise completing with the provision of the Act with respect to registration, apply for its Registration.

[The principal section re-numbered as sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) inserted by Act 48 of 1960] Where an application has been made under sub-section (1) of the registration of a Trade Union, such application shall not be deemed to have become invalid merely by reason of the fact that, at any time after the date of the application, but before the registration of the Trade Union some of the applications, but not exceeding half of the total number of the persons who made the application, have ceased to be members of the Trade Union or have notice in writing to the Registrar dissociating themselves from the application.

Application for Registration (Section 5)

  1. Even application for registration of a Trade Union shall be made to the Registrar, and shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the Trade Union and a statement of the following particulars, namely:-(a) The names, occupations and addresses of the members making the application;(b) The name of the Trade Union and the address of its head office, and(c) The title, names, ages, addresses and occupations of the [Subs. by Trade Unions(Amendment) Act No.33 of 1954] of the Trade Union.
  2. Where a Trade Union has been in existence for more than one year before the making of an application for its registration, there shall be delivered to the Registrar, together with the application, a general statement of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union prepared in such form and containing such particulars as may be prescribed.

Rules of Trade Union To provide the following (Section 6)

A Trade Union shall not be entitled to registration under this Act, unless the executive thereof is constituted in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules thereof provided for following matters, namely:-

  1. The name of the Trade Union;
  2. The whole of the object for which the Trade Union has been established;
  3. The whole of the purposes for which the general funds of the Trade Union shall be applicable, all of which purposes shall be purpose, to which such funds are lawfully applicable under this Act;
  4. The maintenance of a list of the members of the Trade Union and adequate facilities for the inspection thereof by the [Subs. by Trade Unions (Amendment) Act No.33 of 1954] and members of the Trade Union;
  5. The admission of ordinary members who shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected, and also the admission of the number of honorary or temporary members as [Subs. by Trade Unions (Amendment) Act No.33 of 1954]required under Section 22 to form the executive of the Trade Union;

The payment of a subscription by members of the Trade Union which shall be not less than twenty five naye paisa per month per member;

  1. The conditions under which any member shall be entitled to any benefit assured by the rules and under which any fine or forfeiture may be imposed on members;
  2. The manner in which the member shall be amended, varied or rescinded;
  3. The manner in which the members of the executive and the other [Subs. by Trade Unions(Amendment) Act No.33 of 1954] of the Trade Union shall be appointed and removed;
  4. The safe custody of the funds of the Trade Union, and annual audit,in such manner as maybe prescribed, of the account books by [Subs. by Trade Unions (Amendment) Act No.33 of 1954] and members of the Trade Union; and
  5. The manner in which the Trade Union may be dissolved

Registration (Section 7)

The Registrar will register the Trade Union, if he is satisfied that the trade union has complied with all the requirements of this Act in regard to registration. The Registrar shall register; the Trade Union by making necessary entries in the register, to be maintained in such form as may be prescribed. The particulars relating to the Trade Union contained in the statement accompanying the application for registration shall be entered in the register. Where the Registrar takes no action on an application for more than three months, writ under Article 226 can be issued commanding the Registrar to deal with the application.

Certificate of Registration (Section 9)

The Registrar, on registering a Trade Union, shall issue a certificate of registration which shall be conclusive evidence that the Trade Union has been duly registered under the Act. It is obligatory on the part of the Registrar to register a Trade Union provided the provisions of the Act are complied with. He is not entitled to question whether the Union is lawful or unlawful.

Advantages of Registration

Benefits are available to those who are members of a Trade Union.

These benefits include:

  1. Bargaining Power
  2. Trade Union members have the skills and experience of the whole Trade Union behind them. This can be essential when management and workers are negotiating wage rises, overtime, or trying to protect jobs.
  3. Workers Rights
  4. Workers have the right not to be discriminated against for any reason at all. Common types of discrimination include age, gender, sexuality, religion, colour, race, and politics.
  5. Campaigns
  6. The TGWU campaigns range from national campaigns that affect all workers in every sector in every industry, such as pensions, or the minimum wage, to campaigns that may only affect a comparatively much smaller number of workers, such as a factory closure, or a call centre mobbing its operations abroad.
  7. Other Benefits
  8. In addition Trade Union members have other useful benefits such as legal representation such as in tribunals or other disciplinary hearings. Trade Unions are also involved in policy research for Government, and other countries.

Cancellation of Registration (Section 10)

A certificate of registration of a Trade Union may be withdrawn o cancelled by the Registrar

  1. On the application of the Trade Union to be verified in such manner as may be prescribed.
  2. If the Registrar is satisfied that the certificate has been obtained by fraud or mistake, or that the Trade Union has ceased to exist or has willfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision of this Act or allowed any rule to continue in force which is inconsistent with any such provision, or has rescinded any rule providing for any matter, provision for which is required by Section 6: Provided that not less than two months previous notice in writing specifying the ground on which it is proposed to withdraw or cancel the certificate shall be given by the Registrar to the Trade Union before the certificate is withdrawn or cancelled otherwise than on the application of the Trade Union.
  3. Section 10 provides that register may direct for withdrawal or cancellation of registration in the following cases Trade union has ceased to exist Trade union has on its own applied for its withdrawal or cancellation Allowed any rule to continue against the provision of this act

Appeal (Section 11)

Section 11 of the Act gives a limited right of appeal from the decisions of the Registrar. Any person who is aggrieved by the refusal of the Registrar to register a Trade Union or the withdrawal or cancellation of certificate of registration is given the right of appeal. The appeal must be within 60 days of the date of which Registrar passed the order against which appeal is made.

Trade Union can be restrained by injection from applying its funds for an unauthorized object or for an unlawful purpose, because such expenditure shall be ultra virus the Act. Thus it would be illegal it devote Union funds in support of any illegal strike or lockout.

Rights and Privileges

Registration confers on the Trade Union certain rights and privileges. Similarly some rights are granted to the member of a registered Trade Union both collectively and individually. These are as under:

Body Corporate (Section 13)

Trade Union is a body corporate – Registered Trade Union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered. It will have perpetual succession and a common seal.It can acquire both movable and immovable property in its own name and contract in its own name.

Fund for political purposes - Trade Union can constitute separate fund for political purposes.

Executive Committee and Office Bearers of Union – The management of trade union will be conducted by ‘executive’. It is a body by whatever name called. Thus, controlling body of Trade Union may be called as ‘Executive Body’ or ‘Governing Body’ or ‘Managing Committee’or any such name. The members of the executive body are termed as ‘Officer Bearers’. At least 50% of office bearers of registered trade union shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry wit which the trade union is connected.

Annual Returns – Every registered trade union will prepare a general statement of assets and liabilities of trade Union as on 31st December. The statement will be sent to Registrar along with information about change of office bearers during the year.

Immunity from provision of criminal conspiracy in trade disputes – Office bearer of a trade union shall not be liable to punishment u/s 120B(2) of Indian Penal Code in respect of agreement made between members for purpose of object of trade union, unless the agreement is agreement to commit an offence. Thus, office bearer of trade union cannot be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy in respect of agreement relating to object of trade union.

Immunity from civil suit – A civil suit or other legal proceeding is not maintainable against any registered trade union or office bearer in furtherance of trade union activity on the ground that

  1. such act induces some person to break a contract of employmentor
  2. It is in interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person

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