Meaning • Trade Union is an organization of workers acting collectively, who seek to protect and promote their mutual interests. • Trade union is an organization of employees who formally join together to promote, protect, maintain and improve their social, economic, and political power of its members. • Sydney and Webbs defined a trade union as – “ a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the condition of their working lives.”
Meaning • According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, “ Trade Union is an organization consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment for its members.”
Features of Trade Union • Trade union is an association. • Association either of employees or employers or independent workers. • It is relatively permanent combination of workers. • It is association of workers engaged in securing economic benefits of its member. • It’s origin and growth has been influenced by different political ideologies. • It achieves its objectives through collective action and group effort
Why do employees join Trade Union? • To get economic security • To improve employer-employee relation • To oppose management • To communicate their views to the management • To secure protection from economic hazard • To get employment • To exercise leadership • To fall in line with others • To fulfill basic needs
Functions of Trade Union Generally, trade unions perform two types of functions: • Militant or protective • Ministrant or positive Militant Functions • One set of activities performed by trade unions leads to the protection of the position of their members in relation to their employment. • The aim of such activities is to ensure adequate wages, secure better conditions of work and employment, get better treatment from employers, etc. Contd.
Functions of Trade Union • When the unions fail to accomplish these aims by the method of collective bargaining and negotiations, they adopt an approach and put up a fight with the management in the form of so-slow, strike, boycott, gherao, etc. • Hence, these functions of the trade unions are known as militant or fighting functions. Ministrant Functions • Trade unions give financial support to members during strike and lock-out and to provide other benefits to them. Contd.
Functions of Trade Union There are some other functions of Trade Union- • Functions relating to the members • Functions relating to the organization • Functions relating to the union • Functions relating to the society
Functions relating to its members • To safeguard workers against all sort of exploitation by employer, union leader and political leader. • To protect workers from the unfair labour practices of the management. • To ensure healthy and safe working conditions. • To ensure desirable standard of living of workers. • To remove the dissatisfaction and reduce the day to day grievances of workers. Contd.
Functions relating to its members • To encourage workers’ participation in management. • To make members conscious about their rights and duties. • To raise status of members in the industrial organization and in the society.
Functions relating to the organization • To highlight industrial organization as a joint enterprise between workers and management. • To increase production quantitatively as well as qualitatively. • To help in the maintenance of discipline. • To create opportunities for workers participation in management. • To help in the removal of dissatisfaction and redress day to day grievances. • To facilitate communication with workers. • To promote cordial and amicable relation between workers and management.
Functions relating to the union • To improve financial position, by fixing higher subscription and organizing special fund-raising campaigns. • To preserve and strengthen trade union democracy. • To train members to assume leadership position. • To improve the network of communication between trade union and its members. • To promote the unity and solidarity within the organization.
Functions relating to the union • To continuously review the relevance of union objectives in the context of change. • To publicize the trade union objectives, to know people’s reactions towards them and to make necessary modification.
Functions relating to the society • To render all sorts of constructive cooperation in the formulation and implementation of plans and policies relating to national development. • To launch special campaigns against the social evils of corruptions, nepotism, black marketing, smuggling and illiteracy etc. • To create public opinion favourable to trade unions and thereby to raise their status.
Criticism of Trade Union • Lack of education makes the workers narrow-minded, and prevents them from taking long-term views. Thus, anything, which does not result in an immediate reward, becomes unattractive to them. This attitude is responsible for many strikes and lock-outs in industrial concerns. • Trade unions may notwelcome rationalization and improved methods of production for the fear that some of the workers will be put out of work. Therefore, they resort to go slow policy that retards industrial progress.
Criticism of Trade union • When labor unions strike because of illogical grounds, incalculable losses occur to producers, community and the nation. These are harmful to the workers also. They suffer because of the loss of wages. • They create artificial scarcity of labor by demanding that only union personnel should be employed. • By undue insistence on the payment of standard rates of wages, they have only leveled down the earnings of the efficient workers.
Problems of Trade Unions 1.Lack of consciousness The major numbers of members of trade union are not actually completely aware about their legal rights and duties. That is the reason they do not know the favorable characteristics of trade unions. That is why in Bangladesh trade unions are not strong enough to complete the need of the economy. 2.Lack of Unity Trade union is actually a unity of the labor force for assuring their need. But in Bangladesh trade unions are separated for political influence. It is a shock that only for difference in political view, every industry has at least three major parts of a single union.
Problems of Trade Union 3.Lack of knowledge In our country the level of workers is not properly educated. They do not have enough knowledge about their rights and duties. In this case trade union could be helpful very much to develop workers KSA, but the whole level of workers cannot be developed. That is why they do not feel the need or contribution of trade unions; again trade unions are banged here. 4.Financial Problems The financial position of the trade unions is weak because their average yearly income is very low and inadequate. The subscription rates are very low. Under conditions of multiplicity of unions, a union interested in increasing its membership figures keeps the subscription rate unduly low.
Problems of Trade Union 6.Political influence The most powerful and deep affecting barrier for the growth of trade union of Bangladesh is its political environment. Most of the trade unions of Bangladesh are not free from the political influence. Political leaders use the trade unions for illegal purposes. For this the actual environment of trade union is not seen in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, trade unions work a part of political parties not as a free right saving association.
Problems of Trade Union 7.Division of trade union Bangladesh is a country where every organization has more trade unions in name only. Those unions are driven by the political leaders of various political parties. So a huge verity of problem arises in the organizations. The overall productivity got down. Moreover trade union cannot play its role perfectly. That is why disputes are created and more division are created under different
Suggestions for Trade Union • One Union in One Industry: Multiplicity of unions in the same plant leads to inter-union rivalry that ultimately cuts at the root of the trade union movement. It weakens the power for collective bargaining and reduces the effectiveness of workers in securing their legitimate rights. • Development of Leadership from Within: It is of crucial importance that trade unions are managed by the workers, and not by outsiders. Leadership should be developed from within the rank and file of the workers.
Suggestions for Trade Union Others • Training • Reducing political involvement • Financial support • Establishing a rapport of trust • Allowing participation
Major Trade Unions in Bangladesh • Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) • Bangladesh Ganotantrik Sramik Federation • Bangladesh Jatio Sramik League • Bangladesh Jatiyo Sramik Jote • Bangladesh Jatyatabadi Sramik Dal • Bangladesh Labour Federation • Bangladesh Mukto Sramik Federation (BMSF) • Bangladesh Sanjukta Sramik Federation • Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra • Jatio Sramik Federation • Jatyo Sramik League • Samajtantrik Sramik Front • Bangladesh Independent Garment Workers Union Federation (BIGUF) • Bangladesh Garment & Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF)