Here is a compilation of essay on ‘Trade Union’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Trade Union’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Trade Union
- Essay on the Definition of Trade Union
- Essay on the Objectives of Trade Unions
- Essay on the Principles of Trade Unions
- Essay on the Workers Joining Trade Unions
- Essay on the Functions of Trade Unions
- Essay on the Tactics of Trade Union
- Essay on the National Commission on Labour and Trade Union
- Essay on the Trade Unions Act, 1926
- Essay on the Strengthening of Trade Union Movement
- Essay on the Present Position of Trade Union
Essay # 1. Definition of Trade Union:
A trade union is an organised expression of the needs, attitudes and expectations of the workers. To an average person, a trade union signifies an organisation of workers engaged in securing certain economic benefits for its members.
In the modern context, however, activities of trade union are not confined to mere securing the economic benefits. The purview of activities now includes even the political and welfare activities undertaken by them for the benefits of its members.
A trade union has many facets—economic, social, and political. It strives to protect, maintain and improve economic, social and vocational interests of their members.
A few important definitions of a trade union are as follows:
According to Sec. 2 (b) of the Trade Unions Act, 1926. “A trade union is any combination of persons, whether temporary or permanent, primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workers and employers, or between workers and workers, and for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business and includes the federation of two or more trade unions.”
According to Dale Yoder. “A trade union is a continuing, long term association of employees, formed and maintained for the specific purpose of advancing and protecting the interest of members in their working relationships.”
According to S.D. Punnekar, “A union is a continuous association of persons in industry-whether employees or independent workers—formed primarily for the purpose of the pursuit of the interests of its members of the trade they represent.”
According to V.V. Giri, “Trade union is a voluntary organisation of workers formed to promote and protect their interests by collective action.”
According to Edwin B. Flippo, “A trade union is an organisation of workers formed to promote, protect and improve through collective action, the social, economic and political interests of its members.”
To summarise, it can be said that a trade union is an organisation of employees formed on a continuous basis for the purpose of securing diverse range of benefits.
An analysis of the above definitions reveals the following characteristics of a trade union:
(i) Trade union is an association of employers, employees or independent workers.
(ii) Trade union is generally a permanent combination. It is not a temporary or casual combination of workers.
(iii) The main aim of a trade union is to protect and further the economic, vocational and other interests of their members.
(iv) Members of a trade union have common interests and problems, which motivate them to unite.
(v) Trade unions always act collectively i.e. through united action of members.
(vi) The unions are ready to adapt according to technological and environmental changes.
Essay # 2. Objectives of Trade Unions:
According to the Trade Unions Act, 1926, “A trade union must work to protect and promote the interests of the workers and the conditions of their employment.”
To be specific, the trade unions generally pursue the following objectives:
i. Employee Compensation:
The subject which drew the major attention of the trade unions is the wages and salaries of the workers. This item relates to the policy matter of the enterprise. However, differences may arise in the process of their implementation. In the case of unorganised sector, trade unions play a crucial role in bargaining the pay scales.
ii. Working Conditions:
Trade unions aim to improve working conditions by securing shorter working hours, better leave facilities, adequate social security, better housing and education and other welfare benefits.
iii. Rationalisation of Personnel Policies:
The economic security of an employee is determined not only by the level of wages and duration of his employment but also by the management’s policies in respect of recruitment, selection, promotions, transfers, training etc. If such decisions are governed by statutory rules and rational policies, there is greater assurance of fair treatment and equal justice; otherwise there is no security for workers.
iv. Harmonious Relations:
A trade union should also strive for harmonious relations between the employees and employer. Trade union, being the representative of all the workers, may carry out continuous negotiations with the management with a view to promote industrial peace.
v. Recognition and Participation:
Another objective that unions seek to achieve is winning recognition for workers that they are equal partners with management in the task of production. The unions try to secure for workers a say in the management and industrial democracy thereby bringing about a new social order.
vi. Gaining Legislative Enactments:
To provide legal sanctions to its demands, the unions attempt to get these framed in the form of Acts so that they become permanent features of the contract between the employers and the workers. For this purpose, the unions may take recourse to political action in terms of supporting some political party or forming their own political party.
vii. Miscellaneous Services:
Modern trade unions also engage in providing educational, medical and other facilities for the development and welfare of their members, if they have sufficient funds at their disposal.
Essay # 3. Principles of Trade Unions:
The trade unions have the following principles:
i. Unity is Strength:
The strength of trade unions is their unity. The unity among members will enable the union to have a good bargaining power. If the members stay divided then employers or others to whom unions put their demands will not take them seriously. So the unity in the association will be its strength.
ii. Equal Pay for Equal Work:
The union’s strike on the principle of equal pay for equal work of the same type. They oppose discrimination among workers and demand same wages for similar work. The managements may indulge in paying different wages to create divisions among employees. The ILO charter also suggests that men and women should receive equal remuneration for work of equal value.
iii. Security of Service:
The security of service of employees is the other principle of trade unions. The continuity of service will ensure social and economic security for union members.
Essay # 4. Workers Joining Trade Unions:
The trade union movement is gaining momentum with the passage of time. Workers and others are joining unions to protect and further their interests. Why do Workers Join Unions? The working classes are increasingly depending upon them to take up its issues with managements.
The main reasons for the workers joining unions are as follows:
1. The workers join unions to get economic security. They want steady employment and proper income. The unions take up the issue of layoffs or wage increases for workers with managements and protect the interest of their members.
2. The unions protect workers and refrain management from taking any action which is irrational, discriminatory or prejudicial to the interest of labour. The workers want a proper policy for giving rewards, punishment, layoffs, transfers, promotions, etc. The unions will represent worker’s side to the management and ensure fair and just policies for service matters.
3. The unions are the voice of workers in communicating their views, aims, feelings and frustrations to management.
4. The unions also help workers in getting employment.
5. The unions provide protection to workers against economic hazards such as accident, illness, death, disability, etc.
Essay # 5. Functions of Trade Unions:
The functions of modern unions are comprehensive.
These functions can be categorised as:
1. Intramural functions
2. Extramural functions
3. Political functions
4. Social functions
i. Intra-Mural Functions:
These functions are termed as militant functions too because unions may resort to strikes and other pressure tactics to get their demands implemented. Intramural functions include wage rises, proper working conditions, sanitation, safety, continuity in employment and so on.
The unions try to resolve these issues through collective bargaining. If discussions and meetings do not help in resolving these issues then unions use strike and other pressures as tools in getting these demands accepted.
ii. Extramural Functions:
Trade unions also undertake functions which are required for the welfare of their members. These functions include provision of educational, recreational and housing facilities. The unions raise funds in the form of subscription from members and spend them for the welfare of workers.
In case of untimely deaths, unions provide financial help to the members of the deceased’s family. Extramural functions are very important as they inculcate the spirit of co-operation against members.
iii. Political Functions:
The trade unions indulge in political activities in order to help in improving the economic conditions of workers through legislative and administrative measures. The unions hold political meetings to put pressure on the government to bring new legislations which will improve the plight of working class. The unions may also collect funds for political functions.
iv. Social Functions:
These functions include carrying out social service activities, discharging social responsibilities through various sections of the society like educating the customers.
Essay # 6. Tactics of Trade Union:
Trade unions employ certain tactics to deal with the management. These are:
i. Organising Drive:
Organising drive is one of the major instruments of force that unions employ. Organising drive is nothing but forming a union where none exists.
The mere threat of a union may bring the management to terms. Similarly, a successful drive may also bring the management to terms. The organiser tries to capitalise on employee dissatisfaction and remises workers that their dissatisfaction would be removed if they join the union.
The most important union tactic is strike. Strike directly suspends production, cuts the creation of profit, cut off the employer from the market, may lose the source of materials and fixed charges such as interest, taxes and salaries for officials continue to be incurred during the strike period.
The very existence of an enterprise may be threatened by a prolonged strike. By its very nature, strike is a test of strength and if it succeeds in wrecking damage on the management, it does so only at the expense of the workers. Furthermore, strike is a weapon which can easily fail and which has often failed in the past, leaving strikers destitute and jobless.
iii. Political Pressures:
Unions often invoke political patronage to beat the management. Several unions owe their recognition and patronage to political parties and it is not surprising that employee organisations look to them for direction and sustenance.
Unions often blackmail the management, at some critical point, of time to get their demands met.
Essay # 7. National Commission on Labour and Trade Union:
National Commission on Labour feels that the primary function of a union is to promote and protect the interests of its members. Their goals should be to improve the economic position of workers. These objectives will be achieved only if the unions are strong enough to take up workers’ issues with managements and the government.
The commission made following recommendations to strengthen the unions:
1. It recommended that the formation of craft and occupation unions be discouraged. Industrial trade unions and federations should be encouraged.
2. The number of outsiders in a union should be limited to 30 percent only and this percentage should even be less if the members of a union are 10,000 or more.
3. The ex-employees of an organisation should be treated as insiders. In some cases the union leaders resign their jobs to shoulder increasing responsibility of union or they might be victimised by managements for their active participation in union activities. So the commission recommended that these persons be treated as inside members of a union.
4. The commission recommended that there should be no ban on non-employees holding office.
5. Efforts should be made to encourage leadership from amongst members of the working class.
6. The management should be penalised for victimisation of members of unions and also for adopting unfair practices to discourage members from joining unions.
7. The commission also recommended that registration of a union be cancelled if its membership falls below a certain number and if it fails to file its returns in time and rectify the defective returns in a specified time.
8. The unions with 100 c. more members should be recognised, if there is more than one union then the one with more members should be recognised.
Essay # 8. The Trade Unions Act, 1926:
The Trade Unions Act, 1926, legalises the formation of trade unions by allowing employees the right to form and organise unions.
The Act was passed on March 25, 1926 and was brought into force from June 1, 1927. It extends to whole of India.
The main objective of the Act is to provide for the registration of trade unions and to give registered trade unions a legal status and immunity to their office bearers and members from civil and criminal liability in respect of legitimate trade union activities. In pursuit of its primary objective, the Act contains 33 sections.
The provisions of the Act are divided into eight sections namely:
2. Registration of unions.
3. Duties and responsibilities of registered trade unions.
4. Right and liabilities of registered trade unions.
5. Amalgamation and dissolution of unions.
6. Submission of returns.
7. Penalties and fines.
8. Power to make regulations.
The Act is a central legislation, but is administered by the state governments. Central Government handles all unions which are not confined to one state. It has the power to amend the Act.
Essay # 9. Strengthening of Trade Union Movement:
i. United Labour Front:
Unions must put a joint front. A strong and united trade union movement is necessary to safeguard the interests of the members and to help in achieving the targets of production. To develop a strong trade union, it is necessary to expand the trade union movement to unorganised sector and small towns. The membership of unions should also be increased.
ii. Single Union:
The principle of one union in one industry should be adopted to avoid multiplicity of unions and inter union rivalry. This will help in eliminating the problems created by multiplicity of unions.
iii. Financial Stability:
The financial problems of the unions can be solved by raising the membership and collecting for fees from all the members, the membership fees should be raised as the amount of the wages of the workers increased significantly compared to the situation in 1926 when Trade Union Act provided for the collection of 25 paisa per month per member as subscription fees.
iv. Efficient Leadership:
Political leadership has developed due to the absence of internal leadership. Outside leadership is the main cause of multiple problems of the trade unions.
These problems can be removed through the development of leadership talents from within. Management should encourage internal workers to lead their own movement. Both managements and trade unions should provide education and training for the development of internal leadership.
v. Paid Union Officials:
Paid union officials should be employed who are persons of proven integrity and who are competent and sincere. They should be able to evaluate workers’ aspirations and strong enough to negotiate with employers on equal basis.
vi. Recognition of Trade Unions:
It should be made obligatory on the part of the employers to give recognition to the trade unions. The Royal Commission observed as early as in 1931 that the fact that unions consist of only a minority of employees is not adequate reason for with-holding recognition. Some procedure must be worked out so that the most representative union in the plant is recognised by the management.
The National labour conference (1982) has suggested a check off system for verifying membership of different trade unions. Under this, workers will authorise 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.
vii. Expansion of Union Activities:
Unions should widen the scope of their activities and provide certain benefits and facilities to the workers. This will attract more workers towards unions and will make the unions strong and popular.
Essay # 10. Present Position of Trade Union:
There are five central organisations which dominate the trade unions in India.
These organisations are briefly discussed here:
i. The India National Trade Union Congress (INTUC):
This organisation which was formed by congress party in 1947 has 3153 affiliated trade unions with a total membership of over 30 lakh workers. It has strong roots in West Bengal, Assam, Gujrat, Bihar and Maharashtra. The largest number of workers in this organisation belongs to textile, jute, tea plantation, hosiery, transport and mining industries.
ii. The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC):
AITUC which is affiliated to Communist Party of India is considered to be the second largest federation of trade unions with over 26 lakh members. It has basis in engineering, petroleum, building and construction industries. AITUC is strong in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi.
iii. The Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS):
HMS is the labour wing of Praja Socialist Party. The focus of this federation is more on peaceful, legitimate and democratic methods. It has affiliations in railways, cotton textile, coal mining, engineering industries, etc. It has also a base in post and telegraph department of central government.
iv. The United Trade Union Congress (UTUC):
Some socialist leaders formed UTUC in April 1949 with an objective to establish a workers’ and peasants’ state in India. It has influences in West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Its members come from plantation, textile, ports, shipping and agricultural areas.
v. The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU):
It was formed by CPM members in 1970. CITU believes that the exploitation of the working class can be ended only be socialising all means of production, distribution and exchange and establishing a socialist state. CITU claims a membership of over 12 lakh workers.