TRADE UNION ACT-1926 By Malyala Sahithi(Reva University)

Sec -2 (g) – Trade dispute 

It is dispute between employer and employer

Employer and workmen

Workmen and workmen

2) any dispute which is connected with employment, non-employment, terms and conditions of employment.


Workmen means all persons employed in trade or industry whether they are with the employment of the employer or not?

Sec 2(h)- Trade union 

  1. Any combination whether temporary or permanent
  2. Combination should have been made for the purpose regulating the relation between
  1. A) workmen and workmen
  1. b) employer and employer 
  2. c) employer and workmen
  3. ii) imposing conditions on the conduct of trade or business but this Act, shall not affect 
  1. Any agreement between the partners
  2. Any agreement between the employer and those who have been employed by the employer
  3. Any agreement in consideration of sale of good will


Registration of Trade union 

Sec (4)- Mode of registration 

For any trade union seven or more than seven members can make a application for registration. All the members must subscribe their names. They have to comply with the provision of the Act.

Trade union shall be registered when they have 10% of membership or 100 workmen whichever is less then it will be registered.

If half of the applicants take back their application then that application will be considered as invalid.


Sec (5)- Application for registration

  1. Application should be sent to the registrar by 7 or more members by subscribing their names
  2. Application should in form ‘A’. application should be accompanied with rules of trade union and statement should consist of particulars or following information.
  1. Name, occupation and address of the members / applicants
  2. In case of trade union of workman, the name, occupation, address and place of work of the applicants
  3. Name of the trade union and address of its head office
  4. Title, name, age, address and occupation of office bearers of trade unions.
  1. General statement of assets and liabilities of trade union.


Sec (6)- Rules of trade union

Every registrar trade union should have written rules. Rules should be in connection with schedule- II

Trade union shall consist of the following rules

  1. Formation of executive committee as per the Act ( for administration purpose )
  2. Rules of trade union namely :-
  1. Name of trade union 
  2. Object of trade union
  3. Purpose on which funds of trade union shall be applicable
  4. Maintenance of list of members of trade union 
  5. Admission of ordinary members of trade union
  6. Payment of minimum subscription

Which shall not be less than

  1. One rupee per annum if he is a rural workmen
  2. 12 rupees per annum if he is from another place
  3. Any condition on which members shall be entitled for any benefit
  1. The manner in which the amendment of the rules shall be made
  2. The method of election and removal of executive and office bearers of trade union 
  3. Duration of membership shall not be more than 3 years
  4. Safe custody of funds of trade union, maintenance of accounts and annual audit
  5. Method of dissolution of trade union.

Sec (7) – Power of the registrar to call for information

Registrar may ask for further information which he thinks necessary for registration.

He may refuse to register if the name of trade union is identical or similar to that of the existing trade union.

He will issue a direction to the applicants for alteration of name when the name is similar to the existing one.

Sec (8) Registration

If the register is satisfied that all the formalities are fulfilled or complied with he will register the trade union and he will make necessary entries in register books which is maintained for the purpose of registration.

Sec (9)- Certificate of registration 

Registrar will issue certificate of registration in the prescribed format that will be conclusive evidence or final evidence.

Sec -9(A)- minimum requirement of membership 

A registered trade union required to maintain minimum membership of not less than 10% of membership or 100 members of trade union which ever is less. Once it comes down automatically it amounts to cancel.

Sec (10)- Cancellation of registration 

Registrar can cancel the registration on following grounds

  1. An application made by the trade union
  2. If the registration is obtained by fraud or mistake 
  3. Where the trade union has ceased to exists
  4. If the trade union willfully contravenes the provision of this Act
  5. Where the trade union has rescinded any of the rules as per sec-(6)
  6. If the minimum member of membership reduced.


Sec (11)- Appeal

  1. Any aggrieved person may make an appeal against the order of the registrar within 60 days from on which order passed by the registrar 
  2. Appeal shall be made to the high court if the head office of the trade union is situated in presidency towns then appeal mean to high court
  3. Where the head office is situated in any area within the jurisdiction of labor court, tribunal then appeal made to such labor court or tribunal 
  4. If the head office situated in any other area, appeal may be made to any court additional civil judge or principal civil judge.


Sec –(13)- The privileges


It is a body corporate

Common seal

Perpetual succession  


There are two kinds of funds which may be carried by every trade union

General fund

Political fund

Sec –(15)- General Fund

General fund is compulsory for all the members and the members must subscribe the fund.

If he is a rural workman, he has to pay one rupee and if he is another he has to pay 10 rupees and 3 rupees members for unauthorized sector.

Sec- 15 list out objects on which general fund may be spend

  1. Payment of salary and allowances, expenses of office bearers
  2. Administration expenses including auditing
  3. Any expenses relating to legal proceedings either for prosecution or defence
  4. Conduct of trade dispute
  5. Compensation for loss arising out of any trade dispute
  6. Allowances to members of the dependants on death, old age, sickness accident or unemployment
  7. Payment of expenses for educational, social or religious purposes of deceased workmen
  8. Expenses in connection with publication of periodicals (magazines)
  9. Payment in furtherance of any other object or in connection with the purpose of general funds.
  10. Any other object or purpose notified by appropriate government

If any trade union spends other than this purpose then it becomes illegal.


Sec-(16)- Political fund

Generally trade union has civic and political purpose called as political fund.

Political fund is not mandatory for all.

If a person do not contribute then also he has benefit to take political fund

  1. Any expenses incurred directly or indirectly by a candidate or prospective candidate under 
  2. Expenses in connection with holding of election meeting or document in support of such candidates
  3. Maintenance expenditure of any member of a legislative body
  4. Registration expenses of electors
  5. Expenses in relation to holding of political meeting or political document.



Sec-(17)- criminal conspiracy in trade dispute

Every member or office bearer of the registered trade union can enjoy two immunities

Sec-17 gives immunity for every bearer from sec-120 (B) of IPC

If they commit any office relating to sec 120(B) in furtherance of trade union they are exempted because they are given an immunity

Immunity given under sec-17 is partial immunity

If criminal conspiracy is in connection with trade union then only, they have been exempted if it is not in connection with trade union they are liable.

It is given only to the extent of entering into an agreement made between the members for the purpose of taking their demand otherwise it becomes an offence

West India steal company limited vs. Azeez

In this case trade union leader was transferred from one department to another department on deputation (temporary transfer for temporary period). As he was the trade union leader, he protested the order without going to work for a period of 5 hours. Whether he is entitled for an immunity?

Court held that he is not entitled for any immunity merely he is a leader he cannot disobey the rules. He was made liable on the ground of sec-17. It was an individual order which should obey by everyone.


Sec-(18)- immunity from civil suits

Only in certain cases immunity is granted not in all cases.

Sec- 18 grants immunities from civil offences to all the members and office bearers in connection with the civil proceedings.

Under the law of torts or contract if a person intentionally promotes if there is a breach then they are liable and not exempted.

Sec -18 tells that when any person induces any other person or registered trade member breach of contract of employment by interfering with the trade business of employment then no suit or legal proceedings can be taken because immunity is granted.

No one can file or initiate a suit because they are exempted.

This activity should be in connection with the furtherance of the trade dispute then only he is exempted and enjoyed the immunity.

Sec (21)- Right of minor to membership of trade union

Any person can become the member of registered trade union.

Minimum age or any person who has completed the age of 15 years is entitled to become the member of registered trade union.

Minor person can enjoy all the rights but not liabilities or benefits of membership can enjoy because it is void and he can execute all the documents also and they are not personally liable.

Minor can become the member but not entitled or eligible to become a office bearer. 

Trade union is a association so minor can become the member.

Sec- 21(A)- Disqualification of office bearers

Minor cannot become the office bearer and 

  1. Person who has not attain the age of majority (18) cannot be the office bearer
  2. If any person has been convicted in any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced to imprisonment
  3. After imprisonment after the expiry of 5 years only he can become as office bearer or from the date of his realise he must wait for 5 years before 5 years he cannot become the member of office bearer.



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