The Trade Unions in India are governed by the Trade Unions Act, 1926 which was primarily enacted to accord protection to the union leaders for the acts done by them in connection with the legitimate Trade union activities. Chapter 2 containing Section 3 to 14 of the Trade Unions Act 1926 lays down the provisions relating to the registration of trade unions. Chapter III, Section 15 to 28 of the Trade unions act 1926 lays down the provision relating to the rights and liabilities of the registered trade unions.

Definition of Trade Union:

      According to Section 2(h) of the Trade Unions Act 1926 "Trade Union" means any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions.

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Rights of Registered Trade Unions: 

   The rights of registered trade unions are as follows -

      (1) Right to admission 

      (2) Right to represent

      (3) Right to own property
      (4) Right to contract

      (5) Right to amalgamate

      (6) Right to inspect books

      (7) Right to sue

      (8) Rights of minors to membership of trade unions 

      (9) Right to change the name - 

(1) Right to admission - 

          Right to admission as a member of a trade union is not absolute right. A Trade union may impose certain restrictions qualifications for admissions subject to the provisions of the Trade Unions Act and rules and any other law in force.

(2) Right to represent - 

          A trade union can make a representation on behalf of the employee or individual dispute if such employee gives written authorization. With that authorization, a Trade union can make presentation Before any consolation officer, Industrial Tribunal, or Labour Court.

(3) Right to own property -

        A registered trade union can purchase and own movable or immovable property on its own name.

(4) Right to contract - 

        A registered trade union can enter into a contract on its own name, being it is a legal person.

 (5) Right to amalgamate - 

       According to Section 24 of the Trade Unions Act 1926,  Any two or more registered trade unions may become amalgamated together as one trade union with or without dissolution or division of the funds of such trade unions or either or any of them, provided that the votes of at least one-half of the members of each or every such trade union entitled to vote are recorded, and that at least sixty percent of the votes recorded are in favor of the proposal.

(6) Right to inspect books -

      According to Section 20 of the said Act, 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.

(7) Right to sue - 

       A registered trade union is a juristic person and hence it can sue the employer or any other person.  It can argue before any labor courts, authorities, Courts on behalf of itself, and on behalf of its members.

(8) Rights of minors to membership of trade unions 

           According to Section 21 of the said Act 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 acquaintances necessary to be executed or given under the rules.

(9) Right to change the name - 

      According to Section 23 of the Act, Any registered trade union may, with the consent of not less than two-thirds of the total number of members and subject to the provisions of section 25, change its name.

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