Nov 20,2021 | 2 min read

Role of Trade Unions in India

Trade unionism had gained ground as a result of the advent of industrialization and capitalism. For more than fifty years, the Indian trade union movement has existed. It has progressed through several phases over time. There have been periods of dissatisfaction and painful struggle, as well as periods of gratitude, consolidation, and success.

Upon looking at contemporary working circumstances, defining Trade Union’s requirements, their social roles, working methods, relevance and position in collective bargaining, Trade Unions have had a huge impact on social, political, and economic life.

The goal of recognising  trade unions in law is to promote industrial peace with the goal of providing social and economic justice to the general public, but this objective can only be achieved if trade union members are granted civil liberty and democratic rights by the society in which they live. Every country's current industrial relations framework includes trade unions, with each having its own set of goals and objectives to attain in line with its constitution, as well as a strategy for reaching those goals. Labor unions play a crucial role in the industrial system. The Indian Constitution recognises the ability to form a trade union as a constitutional right under Article 19 (1) (c).

The Purposes and Needs of Trade Unions 一

  • Wages and salaries:
    The most essential topics for Trade Unions are wages and salaries. Wages and benefits are set in organised industries through mechanisms such as collective bargaining, wage boards, conciliation, and adjudication. Through these platforms, union power and objective information should be able to affect the wage scene.

  • Working conditions:
    Another important purpose of trade unions is to safeguard employees. While on the job, every employee should have access to essential facilities such as drinking water, fixed working hours, paid vacations, social security, safety equipment, and illumination are just a few of the issues that need to be addressed.

  • Personnel policies:
    Labor Unions have the right to question an employer's policy on promotion, transfer, or training if it is arbitrary.

  • Discipline:
    Trade unions protect employees against management's wrongful disciplinary proceedings against any employee. Employees are not victimised by management through arbitrary moves or suspensions.

  • Welfare:
    A trade union's principal purpose is to represent the interests of its members and the worker's family member’s well-being.

  • Employee and Employer Relations:
    For industrial peace, there must be harmony between the employer and the employee. On behalf of the employees, the Trade Union deals  with management.

  • Negotiating Machinery:
    Through collective bargaining, trade unions safeguard workers' rights.

  • Protecting Organizational Health and Industry Interests:
    Trade unions by devising mechanisms for resolving labour issues, trade unions also help strengthen labour relations.

  • Workers who work alone feel vulnerable:
    The Trade Union gathers together to achieve social goals.


In India, Trade Unions serve a variety of purposes; 

  • Collective bargaining, according to the Supreme Court, is a mechanism for resolving a problem amicably rather than by force. Negotiations and talks on working conditions take place between the employer and the employee during this phase. It is illegal to refuse to bargain together. Collective bargaining is a tool for resolving labour conflicts. The revolution is built on collective bargaining, and constitutional recognition of trade unions and their right to organise workers is in workers' best interests.

  • Employees are protected from pay increases by trade unions, which typically provide nonviolent job protection.

  • At the time of lockouts, strikes, and medical situations, trade unions aid employees by giving money and non-financial assistance.

  • When negotiating a contract, it's also crucial to remember that employees who aren't members of a union have their rights protected and that workers aren't discriminated against.

Importance of the formation of Trade Unions

Trade unions bridge the gap that previously existed between workplace peace and social justice. Because it improves working conditions, every decision taken by trade union discourse with the employer should be vigorously implemented by the labourers who are members of that trade union. Workers benefit from a variety of social programmes, including legal help, housing schemes, and education for their children. Because of these functions, trade unions are vital to social justice.

Trade unions have a critical role in improving worker wages. Although this position cannot be witnessed directly, trade union measures such as promises from the trade union on payment of marginal productivity levels, which may be obtained by boosting negotiating ability and power, can indirectly improve wages. Trade unions have the power to halt the supply of labourers in a certain trade, perhaps leading to higher salaries.

Conclusion 一

As a result, it's important to recognise how crucial Trade Unions are in today's ever-changing industries and organisations. They not only keep workers safe, but they also help businesses be more productive. They serve as a link between employees and employers, striving for the mutual benefit of both.


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