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Trade Unions Act, 1926



as amended


CHAPTER I - PRELIMINARY
CHAPTER II - REGISTRATION OF TRADE UNIONS
CHAPTER III - RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF REGISTERED TRADE UNIONS
CHAPTER IV - REGULATIONS
CHAPTER V - PENALTIES AND PROCEDURE

An Act to provide for the registration of Trade Unions and in certain respects to define the law relating to registered Trade Unions


Whereas it is expedient to provide for the registration of Trade Unions and in certain respects to define the law relating to registered Trade Unions;

It is hereby enacted as follows:


CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY
1. Short title, extent and commencement.-
(1) This Act may be called the Trade Unions Act, 1926.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Definitions.- In this Act 'the appropriate Government' means, in relation to Trade Unions whose objects are not confined to one State, the Central Government, and in relation to other Trade Unions, the State Government, and, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, -


  1. "executive" means the body, by whatever name called, to which the

management of the affairs of a Trade Union is entrusted;

(b) "office-bearer", in the case of a Trade Union, includes any member of the

executive thereof, but does not include an auditor;

(c) "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made under this Act;

(d) "registered office" means that office of a Trade Union which is registered under this Act as the head office thereof;

(e) "registered Trade Union" means a Trade Union registered under this Act;

(f) "Registrar" means -


  1. a Registrar of Trade Unions appointed by the appropriate Government under section 3, and includes any Additional or Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions; and

(ii) in relation to any Trade Union, the Registrar appointed for the State in

which the head or registered office, as the case may be, of the Trade

Union is situated ;

(g) "trade dispute" means any dispute between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers which is connected with the employment or non-employment, or the terms of employment or the conditions of labour, of any person, and "workmen" means all persons employed in trade or industry whether or not in the employment of the employer with whom the trade dispute arises; and

(h) "Trade Union" means any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for employers imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more Trade Unions:

Provided that this Act shall not affect -

(i) any agreement between partners as to their own business;

(ii)any agreement between an employer and those employed by him as to

such employment; or

( iii) any agreement in consideration of the sale of the good-will of a

business or of instruction in any profession, trade or handicraft.



CHAPTER II

REGISTRATION OF TRADE UNIONS



3. Appointment of Registrars.-
(1) The appropriate Government shall appoint a person to be the Registrar of Trade Unions for each State.

(2) The appropriate Government may appoint as many Additional and Deputy Registrars of Trade Unions as it thinks fit for the purpose of exercising and discharging, under the superintendence and direction of the Registrar, such powers and functions of the Registrar under this Act as it may, by order, specify and define the local limits within which any such Additional or Deputy Registrar shall exercise and discharge the powers and functions so specified.

(3) Subject to the provisions of any order under sub-section (2), where an Additional or Deputy Registrar exercises and discharges the powers and functions of a Registrar in an area within which the registered office of a Trade Union is situated, the Additional or Deputy Registrar shall be deemed to be the Registrar in relation to the Trade Union for the

purposes of this Act.


4. Mode of registration.-
(1) Any seven or more members of a Trade Union may, by subscribing their names to the rules of the Trade Union and by otherwise complying with the provisions of this Act with respect to registration, apply for registration of the Trade Union under this Act.

1[Provided that no trade union of workmen shall be registered unless at least ten percent or one hundred of the workmen, which ever is less, engaged or employed in the establishment or industry with which it is connected are the members of such Trade Union on the date of making of application for registration:

Provided further that no trade union of workmen shall be registered unless it has on the date of making application not less than seven persons as its members , who are workmen engaged or employed in the establishment or industry with which it is connected.]

(2) Where an application has been made under sub-section (1) for the registration of a Trade Union, such application shall not be deemed to have become invalid merely by reason of the fact that, at any time after the date of the application, but before the registration of the Trade Union, some of the applicants, but not exceeding half of the total number of persons who made the application, have ceased to be members of the Trade Union or have given notice in writing to the Registrar dissociating themselves from the application.


5. Application for registration.-
(1) Every application for registration of a Trade Union shall be made to the Registrar, and shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the Trade Union and a statement of the following particulars, namely: -

(a) the names, occupations and addresses of the members making the application;



1[(aa) in the case of a trade union of workmen, the names, occupations and address of the place of work of the members of the trade Union making the application]

(b) the name of the Trade Union and the address of its head office; and

(c) the titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of the office-bearers of the Trade Union.

(2) Where a Trade Union has been in existence for more than one year before the making of an application for its registration, there shall be delivered to the Registrar, together with the application, a general statement of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union prepared in such form and containing such particulars as may be prescribed.


6. Provisions to be contained in the rules of a Trade Union.-

A Trade Union shall not be entitled to registration under this Act, unless the executive thereof is constituted in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules thereof provide for the following matters, namely: -


(a) the name of the Trade Union;

(b) the whole of the objects for which the Trade Union has been established;

( c)the whole of the purposes for which the general funds of the Trade Union

shall be applicable, all of which purposes shall be purposes to which such funds are lawfully applicable under this Act;

(d) the maintenance of a list of the members of the Trade Union and adequate

facilities for the inspection thereof by the office-bearers and members of the Trade Union;

(e) the admission of ordinary members who shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected, and also the admission of the number of honorary or temporary members as office-bearers required under section 22 to form the executive of the Trade Union;

1 [(ee) the payment of a minimum subscription by members of the Trade Union which shall be not less than-


  1. one rupee per annum for rural workers;

  2. three rupee per annum for workers in other unorganized sector ; and

  3. twelve rupees per annum for workers in any other case]

(f) the conditions under which any member shall be entitled to any benefit assured by the rules and under which any fine or forfeiture may be imposed on the members;

(g) the manner in which the rules shall be amended, varied or rescinded;

(h) the manner in which the members of the executive and the other office-bearers of the Trade Union shall be 1[elected ] and removed;

1 [(hh) the duration of period being not more than three years, for which the members of the executive and other office bearers of the Trade Union shall be elected;]

(i) the safe custody of the funds of the Trade Union, an annual audit, in such manner as may be prescribed, of the accounts thereof, and adequate facilities for the inspection of the account books by the office-bearers and members of the Trade Union; and

(j) the manner in which the Trade Union may be dissolved.
7. Power to call for further particulars and to require alteration of name.-
(1) The Registrar may call for further information for the purpose of satisfying himself that any application complies with the provisions of section 5, or that the Trade Union is entitled to registration under section 6, and may refuse to register the Trade Union until such information is supplied.
(2) If the name under which a Trade Union is proposed to be registered is identical with that by which any other existing Trade Union has been registered or, in the opinion of the Registrar, so nearly resembles such name as to be likely to deceive the public or the members of either Trade Union, the Registrar shall require the persons applying for registration to alter the name of the Trade Union stated in the application, and shall refuse to register the Union until such alteration has been made.
8. Registration.-

The Registrar, on being satisfied that the Trade Union has complied with all the requirements of this Act in regard to registration, shall register the Trade Union by entering in a register, to be maintained in such form as may be prescribed, the particulars relating to the Trade Union contained in the statement accompanying the application for registration.


9. Certificate of registration.-

The Registrar, on registering a Trade Union under section 8, shall issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form which shall be conclusive evidence that the Trade Union has been duly registered under this Act.


1[9A. Minimum requirement about membership of a Trade Union.-

A registered Trade Union of workmen shall at all times continue to have not less than ten per cent or one hundred of the workmen, whichever is less, subject to a minimum seven, engaged or employed in an establishment or industry with which it is connected, as its members.]


10. Cancellation of registration.-

A certificate of registration of a Trade Union may be withdrawn or cancelled by the Registrar –

(a) on the application of the Trade Union to be verified in such manner as may be prescribed, or

(b) if the Registrar is satisfied that the certificate has been obtained by fraud or mistake, or that the Trade Union has ceased to exist or has wilfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision of this Act or allowed any rule to continue in force which is inconsistent with any such provision, or has rescinded any rule providing for any matter provision for which is required by section 6:



1[ (c ) if the Registrar is satisfied that a registered Trade Union of workmen ceases to have the requisite number of members :]
Provided that not less than two months' previous notice in writing specifying the ground on which it is proposed to withdraw or cancel the certificate shall be given by the Registrar to the Trade Union before the certificate is withdrawn or cancelled otherwise than on the application of the Trade Union.

11. Appeal.-
(1) Any person aggrieved by any refusal of the Registrar to register a Trade Union or by the withdrawal or cancellation of a certificate of registration may, within such period as may be

prescribed, appeal, -

(a) where the head office of the Trade Union is situated within the limits of a

Presidency-town, to the High Court, or



1[(aa)where the head office is situated in an area, falling within the jurisdiction of a Labour Court or an Industrial Tribunal, to that Court or Tribunal, as the case may be;]

(b) where the head office is situated in any other area, to such Court, not inferior to the Court of an additional or assistant Judge of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction, as the appropriate Government may appoint in this behalf for that area.

(2) The appellate Court may dismiss the appeal, or pass an order directing the Registrar to register the Union and to issue a certificate of registration under the provisions of section 9 or setting aside the order for withdrawal or cancellation of the certificate, as the case may be, and the Registrar shall comply with such order.

(3) For the purpose of an appeal under sub-section (1) an appellate Court shall, so far asmay be, follow the same procedure and have the same powers as it follows and has when trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), and may direct by whom the whole or any part of the costs of the appeal shall be paid, and such costs shall be recovered as if they had been awarded in a suit under the said Code.

(4) In the event of the dismissal of an appeal by any Court appointed under clause (b) of sub-section (1), the person aggrieved shall have a right of appeal to the High Court, and the High Court shall, for the purpose of such appeal, have all the powers of an appellate Court under sub-sections (2) and (3), and the provisions of those sub-sections shall apply accordingly.
12. Registered office.-

All communications and notices to a registered Trade Union may be addressed to its registered office. Notice of any change in the address of the head office shall be given within fourteen days of such change to the Registrar in writing, and the changed address shall be recorded in the register referred to in section 8.


13. Incorporation of registered Trade Unions.-

Every registered Trade Union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered, and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire and hold both movable and immovable property and to contract, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.


14. Certain Acts not to apply to registered Trade Unions.-

The following Acts, namely: -

(a) The Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860),

(b) The Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 (2 of 1912),

(c) The Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);

shall not apply to any registered Trade Union, and the registration of any such Trade Union under any such Act shall be void.


CHAPTER III

RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF REGISTERED TRADE UNIONS
15. Objects on which general funds may be spent.- The general funds of a registered Trade Union shall not be spent on any other objects than the following, namely: -

(a) the payment of salaries, allowances and expenses to office-bearers of the Trade Union;

(b) the payment of expenses for the administration of the Trade Union, including audit of the accounts of the general funds of the Trade Union;

(c) the prosecution or defence of any legal proceeding to which the Trade Union or any ember thereof is a party, when such prosecution or defence is undertaken for the purpose of securing or protecting any rights of the Trade Union as such or any rights arising out of the relations of any member with his employer or with a person whom the member employs;

(d) the conduct of trade disputes on behalf of the Trade Union or any member thereof;

(e) the compensation of members for loss arising out of trade disputes;

(f) allowances to members or their dependants on account of death, old age, sickness, accidents or unemployment of such members;

(g) the issue of, or the undertaking of liability under, policies of assurance on the lives of members, or under policies insuring members against sickness, accident or unemployment;

(h) the provision of educational, social or religious benefits for members (including the payment of the expenses of funeral or religious ceremonies for deceased members) or for the dependants of members;

(i) the upkeep of a periodical published mainly for the purpose of discussing questions affecting employers or workmen as such;

(j) the payment, in furtherance of any of the objects on which the general funds of the Trade Union may be spent, of contributions to any cause intended to benefit workmen in general, provided that the expenditure in respect of such contributions in any financial year shall not at any time during that year be in excess of one-fourth of the combined total of the gross income which has up to that time accrued to the general funds of the Trade Union during that year and of the balance at the credit of those funds at the commencement of that year; and

(k) subject to any conditions contained in the notification, any other object notified by the appropriate Government in the official Gazette.




16. Constitution of a separate fund for political purposes.-
(1) A registered Trade Union may constitute a separate fund, from contributions separately levied for or made to that fund, from which payments may be made, for the promotion of the civic and political interests of its members, in furtherance of any of the objects specified in sub-section (2).
(2) The objects referred to in sub-section (1) are: -
(a) the payment of any expenses incurred, either directly or indirectly, by a candidate or prospective candidate for election as a member of any legislative body constituted under the Constitution or of any local authority, before, during, or after the election in connection with his candidature or election; or

(b) the holding of any meeting or the distribution of any literature or documents in support of any such candidate or prospective candidate; or

(c) the maintenance of any person who is a member of any legislative body constituted under the Constitution or of any local authority; or

(d) the registration of electors or the election of a candidate for any legislative body constituted under the Constitution or for any local authority; or

(e) the holding of political meetings of any kind, or the distribution of political

literature or political documents of any kind.

(2A) In its application to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, references in sub-section (2) to any legislative body constituted under the Constitution shall be construed as including references to the Legislature of that State.
(3) No member shall be compelled to contribute to the fund constituted under sub-section

(1); and a member who does not contribute to the said fund shall not be excluded from any benefits of the Trade Union, or placed in any respect either directly or indirectly under any disability or at any disadvantage as compared with other members of the Trade Union (except in relation to the control or management of the said fund) by reason of his not contributing to the said fund; and contribution to the said fund shall not be made a condition for admission to the Trade Union.


17. Criminal conspiracy in trade disputes.- No office-bearer or member of a registered Trade Union shall be liable to punishment under sub-section (2) of section 120B Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), in respect of any agreement made between the members for the purpose of furthering any such object of the Trade Union as is specified in section 15,unless the agreement is an agreement to commit an offence.
18. Immunity from civil suit in certain cases.-
(1) No suit or other legal proceeding shall be maintainable in any Civil Court against any registered Trade Union or any office-bearer; or member thereof in respect of any act done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute to which a member of the Trade Union is apart on the ground only that such act induces some other person to break a contract of employment, or that it is in interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or of his labour as he wills.
(2) A registered Trade Union shall not be liable in any suit or other legal proceeding in any Civil Court in respect of any tortious act done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute by an agent of the Trade Union if it is proved that such person acted without the knowledge of, or contrary to express instructions given by, the executive of the Trade Union.
19. Enforceability of agreements.-

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an agreement between the members of a registered Trade Unionshall not be void or voidable merely by reason of the fact that any of the objects of the agreement are in restraint of trade:



Provided that nothing in this section shall enable any Civil Court to entertain any legal proceeding instituted for the express purpose of enforcing or recovering damages for the breach of any agreement concerning the conditions on which any members of a Trade Unionshall or shall not sell their goods, transact business, work, employ or be employed.
20. Right to inspect books of Trade Union.-

The account books of a registered Trade Union and the list of members thereof shall be open to inspection by an office-bearer or member of the Trade Union at such times as may be provided for in the rules of the Trade Union.


21. Rights of minors to membership of Trade Unions.- Any person who has attained the age of fifteen years may be a member of a registered Trade Union subject to any rules of the Trade Union to the contrary, and may, subject as aforesaid, enjoy all the rights of a member and execute all instruments and give all acquittances necessary to be executed or given under the rules.

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