Unfair Labour Practice

According to Sec.2 (ra) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, unfair labour practices refer to “any of the practices specified in the Fifth Schedule to the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. According to Section 25T of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 no employer or workman or a trade union, whether registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926 or not, shall commit any unfair labour practice.

Fifth Schedule to the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 provides a list as to what constitutes an unfair labour practices:

Unfair labour practices on the part of employers and trade union of employers

1. To interfere with, restrain from or coerce workmen in the exercise of their rights to organize, from, join or assist a trade union, or to engage in concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, i.e.
a.Threatening workmen with discharge or dismissal, if they join a trade union
b.Threatening a lock out or closure if a trade union is organized
c.Granting wage increase to workmen at crucial periods of the union organization, with a view to undermining the efforts of the trade union organization

2. To dominate, interfere with or contribute, support, financially or otherwise to any trade union, that is to say: –
a. An employer taking an active interest in organizing a trade union of his workmen and
b. An employer showing partiality or granting favor to one of several trade unions attempting to organize his workmen or to its members where such a trade union is not a recognized trade union.

3. To establish employer sponsored trade unions of workmen.

4. To encourage or discourage membership in any trade unions by discriminating against workman, that is to say:-.
a. Discharging or punishing a workman, because he urged other workmen to join or organize a trade union.
b. Discharging or dismissing a workman for taking part in strike (not being a strike which is deemed to be an illegal strike under this act)
c. Changing seniority rating of workmen because of trade union activities
d. Refusing to promote workmen to hire posts on account of their trade union activities e. Giving unmerited promotions to certain workmen with a view to creating discord between other workmen or to undermine the strength of their trade union
f. Discharging office bearers or active members of the trade union on account of their trade union activities

5. To discharge or dismiss workmen-
a. By way of victimization
b. Not in good faith but in the colorable exercise of the employer’s right
c. By falsely implicating a workman in a criminal case on false evidence or concocted evidence d. For patently false reasons
e. On untrue or trumped up allegations of absence without leave
f. In utter disregard of the principles of natural justice.
g. For misconduct of minor or technical character, without having any regard to the nature of the particular misconduct or the past record of service of the workman, thereby leading to disproportionate punishment.

6. To abolish the work of a regular nature being done by workmen and to give such work to contractors as a measure of breaking a strike.

7. To transfer a workman malafide from one place to another under the guise of following management policy.

8. To insist upon individual workman who are on a legal strike to sign a conduct bond as a precondition to allowing them to resume work

9. To show favoritism or partiality to one set of workers regardless of merit.

10. To employ workmen as ‘badlis’, casuals or temporaries and to continue them as such for the years with the object of depriving them of the status and privileges of permanent workmen.

11.To discharge or discriminate against any workmen for filing charges or testifying against employer in any enquiry or proceeding relating to any industrial dispute.

12. To recruit workmen during a strike which is not an illegal strike.

13. Failure to implement award, settlement or agreement.

14. To indulge in acts of force or violence.

15. To refuse to bargain collectively, in good faith with the recognized trade unions.

16. Proposing or continuing a lock out deemed to be illegal under this act.

If the employer of any establishment commits any of these acts then he will be liable for an offence of unfair labour practice.

Unfair labour practices on the part of workmen and trade unions of workmen

1. To advise or actively support or instigate any strike deemed to be illegal under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
2. To coerce workmen in the exercise of their right to self-organization or to join a trade union or refrain from joining any trade union, that is to say-

a) For a trade union or its members to picketing in such a manner that non striking workmen are physically debarred from entering the work places
b) To indulge in acts of force or violence or to hold out threats of intimidation in connection with a strike against non-striking workmen or against managerial staff.

3. For a recognized union to refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the employer:

1. To indulge in coercive activities against certification of bargaining representative.
2. To stage, encourage or instigate such forms of coercive actions and willful ‘go slow’, squatting on the work premises after working hours or ‘gherao’ of any of the members of the managerial or the other staff.
3. To stage demonstrations at the residences of the employers or the managerial staff members.
4. To incite or indulge in willful damage to employer’s property connected with industry.
5. To indulge in the acts of force or violence or to hold out threats of intimidation against any workman with a view to prevent him from attending work.

Punishment for committing unfair labour practice

According to Section 25U of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, any person who commits any unfair labour practice will be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.