Trade Unions Freedom to Join and Form a Union

Trade Unions

Freedom to Join and Form a Union

The right to freedom of association is enshrined in the constitution and guaranteed under the Trade Union Act.
The right of all citizens to form associations or unions and co-operative societies is provided for in the Constitution. The Trade Union Act defines trade union as any combination, whether temporary or permanent, that was formed primarily for regulation or for restrictive conditions on the conduct of a trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions. Worker-employer relations between workers and employers, or between employers and employers.
A trade union has to be registered by filing a request, along with a copy of the Trade Union Regulations and a statement containing the names, occupations and addresses of the Members applying, names and the addresses of the trade union members, the name of the trade union and its headquarters address and titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of its officeholders.

Once the Registrar is satisfied that the Union about registration complies with this Act, it shall register the Syndicate by entering into a register and issuing, as specified, a registration certificate, which is the conclusive proof that the Syndicate has been properly registered by the Law.
The Registrar is informed in writing of a change in the names and amalgamations of trade unions, signed by the Secretary, and 7 members.
Source: §19 of Indian Constitution 1949 last revised in 2012; § 2-9 & 25 of the Trade Union Act, 1926

Freedom of Collective Bargaining

The legislation on labor law acknowledges the right to collective bargaining, but employers cannot legally accept or enter into collective bargaining.
Instead of collective negotiations, the term settlement is used in the Industrial Dispute Act. Settlement refers to settlements reached during conciliation proceedings and includes a written agreement between employers and workmen that has not been reached in the conciliation proceeding, when such an agreement has been signed and copied by the appropriate officials, by the parties concerned in the manner prescribed.
In the course of the conciliation process, an arrangement reached between the employer and the employee binds the parties to the agreement. The settlement shall apply on the date on which the parties sign the settlement protocol or on an agreed date. The settlement shall apply. The settlement shall be valid for the period agreed in the agreement, or the settlement shall be valid for six months following the signing of the memorandum if there is no such provision. The agreement remains binding on the parties after its expiration until two months after the date on which one party notifies the parties in writing of terminating the settlement.
If the conciliation process does not reach a settlement, the issue is referred to as a tribunal (Labour Tribunal, Tribunal or federal court).
Scope and coverage of collective bargaining are limited within the legal boundaries of the Trade Union Act and Industrial Dispute Act.
Source: §15-20 of the Industrial Dispute Act 1947

Right to Strike

Under the Constitution and the Act on Labor Disputes, strike rights are guaranteed. Excessive refreshments, excessive criminal penalties for unauthorized strikes and a long list of essential services frustrate that right, however. All citizens are entitled to assemble peacefully without weapons following the Indian Constitution.
The strike shall be the termination or denial, in common understanding, of the job by a group of people working in any sector operating in combination, by any number of persons employed or employed in such a way that the business continues or accepts jobs.
The employer must be notified by union members at least 6 weeks before the proposed strike date. The employer shall notify the relevant government or authority of the notification within five days. The union members shall conduct strikes within 14 days or at any time before the expiry of the notice period as breaches of the contract. When dispute resolution is being dealt with, the strike is also banned.  Financial assistance is prohibited by anybody to directly promote support to illegal strikes.
Employers are also entitled to lock-outs. The same rules and limits as the right to strike apply to the right.
Source: § 2, 22-25 of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947

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