Recognition of Trade Union

Recognition of Trade Union

Till recently, the employer refused recognition to the trade unions either on the basis that unions consisted of only a minority of employees or two or more unions existed. The Royal Commission observed as early a in 1931 that the fact that union consists of only a minority of employees is not adequate reason for withholding recognition. Some procedure must be worked out so that the most representative union in the plant is recognized by the management. The National Labour Conference (1982) suggested the check-off system for verifying membership of different trade unions. Under this, workers would individually authorize managements to deduct, from their wages, dues to any of the unions of their choice. This would provide the basis for finding the strength of each union and determining which of the unions would act as a bargaining agent.

A recognized trade union us able to negotiate agreements with the employer on terms and conditions of employment on behalf of workers. This is known as collective bargaining. Once a union is recognized, it serves as the bargaining agent for the workers in a particular bargaining unit.

Need for Recognition

Recognition of trade unions is the backbone of collective bargaining. But in spite of the government stated policy to encourage trade unions, there is no enforced central legislation on this subject. There are however voluntary code of discipline and legislations in some states.

In absence of any central legislation, management in several states have refused to recognize trade union mainly on the following five grounds:

  1. Most of the office bearers of the union are outsiders.
  2. The trade union does not get the outsiders approved by the management, especially politicians and ex-employees.
  3. The union consisted of only small number of employees.
  4. There are many rival trade unions.
  5. The trade union is not registered under the Trade Union Act, 1926.

The refusal by employers to recognize or bargain with unions is the major impediment to the healthy growth of trade union and collective bargaining.

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