Trade unions act 1926


According to L. J Hanson, famous and well known economist and thinker, the trade union can be an organisation of the employees, and its main duties is to enable and activate  the employees to act in a united manner, uphold those worker force who all are weak in bargaining position  or in a sense we can say that make them possible of collective bargaining”.

Role and functions of trade unions:

We know that trade union have certain functions and duties to perform like to secure the employee wages, safeguard the security to tenure and improve various conditions of service employment activities, enlarge each of the opportunities for the promotion and training of the workmen, improve working and living conditions, improve individual and collective welfare schemes and procedures, to promote the identity of interests of employees and their related industries.  

The trade unions act was passed since, 1926, before independence, under the title of the Indian Trade Union Act and was brought into effect from 1st June 1927 by a notification in the official Gazette by the central Government of British India. Trade Union Act was then amended in 1947, 1960 and 1962 respectively with proper inclusion and exclusion of various matters, the word Indian was deleted from the amended Act of 1964. Also a comprehensive act was passed in 1982. The Trade Union Act was thus extended to all parts of Indian subcontinent.

Objectives of the Act:

            Trade Unions Act of 1926 was enacted with the central objective of providing the facility of registration of trade unions; regulate the obligations imposed upon registered trade unions and to regulate the rights and liabilities of trade unions.

Provisions of the Act:

Trade unions act includes; Definitions, importance and procedures for formation and registration of unions, assigned Duties and Liabilities, their rights and basic Privileges, Amalgamation and also Dissolution, Submission of the Return, checks, Penalties and Fine  and at last the Power to make Regulations in all.

Let’s see those contents of Trade Unions Act of 1926 in brief;

  • Definitions:

Trade unions Act of 1926 gives proper definitions and explanations about various terms related to trade unions and employers aspects, it gives proper and clear cut explanations on Appropriate government (which means central government), executive; managing body of trade unions, Office-Bearers; members of executive body, Registered Office; office and departments of Trade unions, Registrar and his deputies, Trade disputes; it can connected with (i) employment or non employment (ii) terms of employment (iii) conditions of labour and at last brief note on Trade Union; its duties and regulations through the newly formed Trade Union acts and its amended forms.    

  • Appointment of Registrars:

A state Government appoints a Registrar of Trade Unions for their state. He does his duties and functions with the help of assigned deputies and additional registrars.  He is the authority charged with the duty of administering the provisions of the Trade Unions Act.

  • Registration and Formation of Trade Unions includes:

Process and importance of registration and formation of trade unions are included in the act in order to have a wide angles better functioning of the trade unions in Indian soil;

  • Mode of Registration
  • Application for registration to Registrar
  • Rules and contents of trade Union
  • Power to call the further all particulars and also to require the several alterations of the names.
  • Registration and Certification.

We can say that all the Trade Unions which all are registered as per the provisions and rules under the Act of 1926 and has a certificate of registration is called as a registered Trade Union, as per the section. 2 (e) of Trade Union, 1926 Act.

  • Rights and Privileges for all Trade Unions:

Separate funds are formed for political purposes and other activities;

  • Registered Trade Union as Body Corporate
  • Immunity from punishment for criminal conspiracy
  • Immunity from Civil Suits
  • Enforceability of agreements
  • Right to inspect books of trade Unions
  • Right of minors to be members.
  • Amalgamation of Trade Unions:
  • It deals with the process and rules of amalgamation of two or more registered trade unions, role of Registrar in this amalgamation process and the formalities which should be taken in hand by the state government and other concerned departments of employee welfares. It also says about the effect of amalgamation.
  • Dissolution of Trade Unions:
  • When a Trade union is dissolved, the notice of dissolution must be sent to Registrar with signed copy of all the seven members and secretary of the registered Trade Union. It gives the note on the procedures which should be followed by the Registrar. After all the Registrar shall register the fact of Dissolution. He also must divide the funds among the members as per the rules of the Act, amounts contributed by each member by way of subscription during their membership. After Dissolution they must be allowed to form another society registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.
  • Duties and Liabilities of registered Trade Unions:

Some of the duties and important liabilities of trade union which have been included in the act of 1924 are given below;

  • Change of registered office
  • Objects on which general funds may be present
  • Constitution of a fund for political purposes
  • Proportion of officers to be connected with the industry
  • Returns to be submitted
  •  Disqualifications of office- bearers of Trade Union
  • Account books and list of members.
  • Penalties and Procedures

Checks, penalties and fines establishes in order to have a better functioning of the trade unions, some among them are as follows;

  •  Trade Unions Act of 1926 includes certain penalties and punishments to be done in case of any failure to follow the rules and terms of the Act. Person or group of people supplying false information about Trade union or making alterations to the same will be severely dealt with certain punishments and fines of prescribed amount as per the rule.
  • Failure to submit the Returns is also checked,  any person who wilfully makes, or causes to be made, any false entry in, or any omission from the rules of Act will be punishable with fine Amounts for fine are set in order to check the well functioning of the Act.


So we can conclude that as per the Trade Unions Act of 1926, Trade Union is nothing but an association formed basically with the aim of regulating and bridging the relations between employees and employers or between employees and employees or between employers and employers. It gives all the privileges and honour to the employees and it discuss about the association of employees in a particular sector or in any industry.