Study Notes on Trade Union for UGC NET Labour Welfare 2020 Exam

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 26th, 2023

Trade Union

“A trade union is a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working lives” – Webb

“A trade union is an organization of workers formed to promote, protect and improve, through collective action, the social, economic, and political interests of its members” – Edwin B. Flippo

Features of Trade Union

  • Trade unions always act together i.e., it involves the united action of members
  • Trade unions are formed to achieve the common interests of members
  • Trade unions are a voluntary association of workers in one or more occupations
  • Trade unions are formed to regulate the relations between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers.

Objectives of Trade Union

Trade unions are important organizations for the protection and promotion of the interests of their members in particular and workers in general. Trade unions generally pursue the following broad objectives:

  • To promote and protect the interest of its members
  • To secure better working conditions for the workers
  • To achieve recognition for workers that they are equal partners with management in the task of production
  • To ensure proper implementation of the personnel as well as welfare policies
  • To represent workers on various participative forums
  • To enter in the collective bargaining and other agreement on behalf of workers

The National Commission on Labour has underlined certain basic functions to which trade unions have to pay greater attention such as:

  • To secure fair wages for workers
  • To enlarge opportunities for promotion and training
  • To provide for educational, cultural, and recreational facilities
  • To co-operate and facilitate technological advancement by broadening the understanding of workers in the issues involved in their jobs
  • To offer cooperation in improving levels of production and productivity, discipline and high standards of quality
  • To promote individual and collective welfare

Organizations of Trade Unions in India

The structure of trade union in India consists of three levels namely, Plant/Shop or Local, the State and the Centre. Trade unions in India are affiliated to two types of Organizations:

1- National Federations

2- The Federations of unions

National Federations

The National Federations include all the trade unions in a given industry as their affiliated members. Every industry can join a general national federation, irrespective of the industry to which it belongs. The federations only act as coordinating authorities for different unions under their control. They also select delegates to represent workmen in international conferences organized by the International Labour Organization or the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

The Federations of unions

These are the combinations of various unions for the purpose of gaining strength and solidarity. These federations may be local, regional, state, national and international. Many of the unions are affiliated to one or the other type of the below mentioned central organizations of workers-

  • The Indian National Trade Union Congress
  • The United Trade Union Congress
  • The All India Trade Union Congress
  • The National Labour Organisation
  • The National Federation of Independent Trade Union
  • Hind Mazdoor Sabha
  • The Centre of Indian Trade Unions
  • Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh
  • The Trade Union Co-ordination Committee
  • Indian Confederation of Labour
  • Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat


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