Regulatory update: Labour Laws – Trade Unions Act, 1926- Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill, 2018

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (Ministry) vide its notification dated 20 July, 2018 has circulated the Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill, 2018. This draft bill is open to comments till 10th August, 2018, to enable the Ministry to finalise the same.

Currently the Trade Unions Act, 1926 (“Act”) does not provide for the recognition of the trade union by the appropriate government. It is the office of the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) which performs the verification procedure and the Ministry has recognised 13 (thirteen) central trade unions/ federation of trade unions post undergoing the present verification procedure. Presently the verification is done on the basis of executive guidelines and a code of discipline.

Currently the recognition given by the Ministry to the Central Trade Union Organisations (CTUOs) facilitates their representations in national and international conferences, committees, etc. However, the absence of a formal recognition procedure under the Act has been a cause of concern of the trade unions, as the other Central Government Ministries, and the State Government were not giving them due weightage without a statutory backing.

This draft bill will remedy the above-mentioned defect by incorporating the provision of recognition of trade union/ federation of trade unions at the Central and State level in the Act itself. The proposed amendments are as follows:

  • Insertion of Section 28A which provides for the recognition of Trade Unions both at the Central level or at the State level.
  • Amendment to Section 29 which allows both the Central Government and the State Government to make regulations for the prescribed purpose, the manner of recognition, the authority to decide the dispute and the manner of deciding such dispute.

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