What is trade union? - Industrial Relations Management

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 conditions terms,
  2. regulate relations between workers (its members) and the employer,
  3. Take collective action to enforce the terms of collective,
  4. Raise new demands on behalf of its members, and
  5. Help settle their grievances. A trade union may be:
  1. A company union that represents interests of only one company and may not have any connection with other unions. Also called house union,a company union is often a bogus one and generally illegal.
  2. A general union that represents workers from several companies in the same industry. Also called industrial union.
  3. A craft union that represents skilled workers in a particular field such as carpentry or welding.

A trade union is an organization of employees formed on a continuous basis for the purpose of securing diverse range of benefits. It is a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working lives.

The Trade Union Act 1926 defines a trade union as a combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive condition on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions.

This definition is very exhaustive as it includes associations of both the workers and employers and the federations of their associations. Here, the relationships that have been talked about are both temporary and permanent. This means it applies to temporary workers (or contractual employees) as well.

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