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Rama mohan Acharya (Manager HR(Legal))     25 February 2011

Right of unrecognised union

Here is a case of an organisation having about 3000 employees and also multiple unions. One of the Union have about 98% of employees as its member. This fact can be ascertained from the number of votes casted when the election of the office bearers helds thorugh secret ballot system. This Union is recognised by the management.The other unions donot have much membership. It is also revealed from one of the letter from the registrat of trade union that an union is having membership of 2750 and another is having  1565 mambers, besides few more union having small no. of membership.

My querry is :

1. Is it not the responsibility of the Registrar of Trade Union to veryfy the actual position when unions submitt their annual return? If Yeas what is the methodology?

2. Can the union having very less no of membership, raised an Industrial dispute on the issues of common interest? Can the Labour authorities are justified by calling the employer to participate in the Conciliation proceedings? Is it obligatory on the part of the management to attend such conciliation?


 3 Replies

darshana sawant (associate consultant)     26 February 2011

dear sir

If your organisation is located in Maharashtra then the maharashtra recognition of trade unions and prevention of unfair labour practices act, 1971 is applicable which gives specifically rights to the unrecognised union to address individual disputes with the employer with regards to severence of employment in any form and right to appearance in domestic/departmental enquiries. But right to represent in collective disputes lies onlywith the recognised union.  However in absence of applicability of MRTU AND PULP Act all the unions having the employee following  have the right for redressal of grievances.  However as far as membership is concerned same can be verified by filing a ICTU application in the Industrial court.


Dear Ram Mohan,

Would you like to propose any remedy if some members have dual membership with both the unions? From the statistics provided by you, it clearly reveals that 1315 employees of the organization have their membership with both the unions. It is a fact that some mebers try to take benefit from whichever union they can take, while some take memership of the other unions just to avoid harassment by the other union members/office bearers, as they don't want to displease office bearers of any union.


1) If the unions submit audited accounts corresponding to the No. of members they claim to be in their union, how the Registrar can verify the figures contrary to that unless the management proves against the figures submited by the unions?

2) If the other union is also recognized, that can take up the dispute case very well and the Labour Officer is fully justified to call the employer to participate in the conciliation proceedings. Of course it is obligatory on the part of the management to attend such conciliation, if called by the Labour Officer. However, the management has the full liberty to present its case including the issue of recognition of the union or challenging the right of the union logically with due proof. The issues of common interest, however cannot be denied on the part of any one.

PS Dhingra

Chief Executive Officer

Dhingra Group of Management & Vigilance Consultants

New Delhi-110089

Mobile: 09968076381


sambasivakamasani (Sr Pur and Stores Officer (Rtd) ISRO)     01 March 2011

For unorganised workers, if there is no union recognised, a group of people (un registered)  forming union can deal the issues through Laour Officer (Conciliation)? For registration of unorganised labour as union, is it necessary to mention any contractor/management?

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