Objective of Trade Unions

a. Wages and Salaries:

The subject which drew the major attention of the trade unions is wages and salaries. Of course, this item may be related to policy matters. However, differences may arise in the process of their implementation. In the case of unorganised sector the trade union plays a crucial role in bargaining the pay scales.

b. Working Conditions:

Trade unions with a view to safeguard the health of workers demands the management to provide all the basic facilities such as, lighting and ventilation, sanitation, rest rooms, safety equipment while discharging hazardous duties, drinking, refreshment, minimum working hours, leave and rest, holidays with pay, job satisfaction, social security benefits and other welfare measures.

c. Discipline:

Trade unions not only conduct negotiations in respect of the items with which their working conditions may be improved but also protect the workers from the clutches of management whenever workers become the victims of management’s unilateral acts and disciplinary policies. This victimisation may take the form of penal transfers, suspensions, dismissals, etc. In such a situation the seperated worker who is left in a helpless condition may approach the trade union. Ultimately the problem may be brought to the notice of management by the trade union and it explains about the injustice met out to an individual worker and fights the management for justice. Thus, the victimised worker may be protected by the trade union.

d. Personnel Policies:

Trade unions may fight against improper implementation of personnel policies in respect of recruitment, selection, promotions, transfers, training, etc.

e. Welfare:

As stated earlier, trade unions are meant for the welfare of workers. Trade union works as a guide, consulting authority and cooperates in overcoming the personnel problems of workers. It may bring to the notice of management, through collective bargaining meetings, the difficulties of workers in respect of sanitation, hospitals, quarters, schools and colleges for their children’s cultural and social problems.

f. Employee-employer relation:

Harmonious relations between the employees and employer is a sine quo non for industrial peace. A trade union always strives for achieving this objective. However, the bureaucratic attitude and unilateral thinking of management may lead to conflicts in the organisation which ultimately disrupt the relations between the workers and management. Trade union, being the representative of all the workers, may carry out continuous negotiations with the management with a view to promote industrial peace.

Coimbatore, Feb 22: Tyre manufacturer Dunlop India Ltd has suspended work at its Ambattur, Chennai, factory with immediate effect due to labour unrest.

In its notice of suspension of work at Ambattur issued on Tuesday, the company said that as per the Long-Term Settlement arrived at on July 30, 2009, between the management and the Dunlop Factory Employees’ Union, the workers had agreed to bring down the production cost to the minimum level possible, promote productivity and all-round discipline and maximise capacity utilisation. The agreement paved the way for the opening of the factory in October 2009.

The Dunlop management claimed that despite its best possible efforts to revive the unit and though it incurred heavy losses, the union did not co-operate and "manipulated the attendance/payroll, which turned out to be detrimental to the revival/survival of the company".

Explaining in detail the atmosphere prevailing at the plant since February 10,2012 when workmen "practically resorted to illegal strike" culminating in the management’s decision to suspend work at the plant with immediate effect, the DIL management said that most of the management staff, fearing for their safety, have "refused to report" for duty and under the circumstances, it was left with "no other alternative but to suspend the operations of the factory with immediate effect".

The company said during the period of suspension of work, the "principle of no work no pay shall be followed".

g. Negotiating machinery:

Negotiations include the proposals made by one party and the counter proposals of the other party. This process continues until the parties reach an agreement. Thus, negotiations are based on ‘give and take’ principle. Trade union being a party for negotiations, protects the interests of workers through collective bargaining. Thus, the trade union works as the negotiating machinery.

h. Safeguarding organisational health and the interest of the industry:

Organisational health can be diagnosed by methods evolved for grievance redressal and techniques adopted to reduce the rate of absenteeism and labour turnover and to improve the employee relations. Trade unions by their effective working may achieve employee satisfaction. Thus, trade unions help in reducing the rate of absenteeism, labour turnover and developing systematic grievance settlement procedures leading to harmonious industrial relations. Trade unions can thus contribute to the improvements in level of production and productivity, discipline and improve quality of work life.

Facts [+]

India, Maruthi Suzuki India, Ltd. violence

18,July,2012: Maruthi Suzuki India Ltd., general manager human resource was burnt to death at manufacturing plant located at Maneser (Haryana) by the workers in a dispute between workers and management due to the disciplinary action taken against worker by the management. Workers union alleges that this incident was caused due to the supervisor made objectionable remark against a permanent worker, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste category. When we opposed it, they misbehaved with us and suspended the worker that led to violence.

Company had huge loss of property, damage and burned, police complaint was filed and the Indian penal code (IPC) against the workers who indulged in violence, killing general manager, severely hurting almost 100 workers and 40 executives and managers. Companies top Management decided to dismiss the workers who ever involved in these activities and declare that there is no further reinstatement of dismissed employees.

After the police enquiry they found work as union were involved and behind the violence of hurting workers, killing general human resource manager and damaging property of company. Haryana police on 2nd August 2012 arrested 10 office bearers of Maruti Suzuki Workers' union, including its president Ram Meher and general secretary Sarabjit Singh, in relation with the violence at the company's Manesar plant on July 18 2012.