UPSC EPFO Enforcement Officer: Trade Union Act 1926 in EPFO Labour Laws & Industrial Relations.

UPSC EPFO Enforcement Officer Exam is one of the most sought out job among UPSC Aspirants who often write EPFO exams as part of their UPSC Civil Services Examination. UPSC has announced the official date for the examination as May 9th, 2021. UPSC EPFO Admit cards will be released on official UPSC website 15 days prior to the date of the examination.

Every year over 20+ questions are being asked from the Industrial Relations, Labour Laws & Social Security in the UPSC EPFO Examination. To make it easy for aspirants to revise each individual topic from these areas, Thought Scroll is publishing this series of Concept & Facts Articles from the most important topics for UPSC EPFO in Labour Laws & Industrial Relations.

Everything You Need to Know About Trade Union Act 1926 for USPC EPFO Exam.


Trade Union Act and its evolution is an interesting topic and one of the most important topics in UPSC EPFO Exam Preparation. Trade Union Act deals with the registrations of Trade Unions while empowering Government of India to make legislations for administering Trade Unions Related laws.

NM Joshi- The Father of Trade Unionism In India– Introduced The Trade Union Bill in Assembly in 1921.However the very Idea of Trade Unions in India can be traced back to N.M. Lokhande who called for the first conference of workers in 1884. Another very important event in evolution of Trade Unionism in India is the formation of Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association.

Formation of All India Trade Union Congress – AITUC

In 1920, leaders of the Indian National Congress established the All India Trade Union Congress, which became an apex body connecting all the Trade Unions from Provincial and Regional level.

1920 is also the year in which for the first Indian Labour was represented in International Labour Organization by All India Trade Union

In 1942, Government of India called for the first Tripartite Labour Conference.

Trade Union Act 1926- Objective and Scheme of the Act; Meanings and Definitions.

Trade Union Act along with various other acts like Factories Act, 1948 and The Payment of Wages of Act, 1965 are known as Welfare Legislations as the prime motive of these legislations is for the welfare of growing labour in numbers post Industrial Revolution and Post Independence of India.

Article 19 (1)(c) of the Constitution of India provides for the freedom of association which enables the Trade Unions formation for a collective action and lobbying. However this doesn’t apply to certain kinds of employments and Government of India Servants are barred from forming the Trade Unions.

An Individual dispute becomes an Industrial Dispute when represented through the Trade Unions. Aspirants should take note that this representing Trade Union doesn’t necessarily have to be a Registered Trade Union, however, a registered Trade Union is entitled to certain privileges’ and immunities.

Trade Unions in India strengthened in India after the passing of The Trade Union Act in 1926, which came into effect on 1st June, 1927.

Scheme of The Trade Union Act 1926.

The Trade Union Act of India, 1926 has a total of 35 Sections divided into 5 Chapters.

Section 1 and 2 of TUA 1926Defines Various Terms in the Act
Section 3- Section 14 TUA 1926Provisions of Registering Trade Union Act
Section 15- Section 28 TUA 1926Rights & Liabilities of Registered Users
Section 29 and Section 30Powers to Govt to Make Laws
Section 31- Section 33Penalties and Procedures

Trade Union Meaning & Definition

The definition of Trade Unions is barrowed from the British Trade Union Acts of 1871, 1875 and 1913.

Section 2 of the Act defines Trade Unions as any combinations whether temporary or permanent formed primarily for:

  • For the Purpose of regulating relation between workmen and employers; workmen and workmen; employers and employers
  • imposing respective conditions on the conduct of any trade or business

Provided that this Act shall not affect-

  • Any agreement between partners as to their own business
  • any agreement the employer and those they have employed
  • any agreement in consideration of sale of the goodwill of a business.

Rights of A Recognised Trade Union

Statutorily Recognised Trade Unions will have the following privileges’ and rights compared to unregistered Trade Unions.

  1. right to sole representation of workers in any collective bargaining
  2. rise issues and enter into agreements with employers on general questions concerning the terms and conditions of the employment
  3. to collect membership fees and subscriptions payable by members to the union
  4. to put up notice board in the premises of the undertaking and affix notices relating to meetings, statements of accounts etc.
  5. to discuss with employer the grievances of the workers
  6. to nominate the members to various committees

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