Human Resources Director

Should white collar employees unionise?
From India, Nasik
Human Resource and Industrial Relations

Dear Shyamali,
There is no bar in white collar employees forming an Union but if they are of Supervisory or Managerial Level it is better for them to form an Association, if they are refused Resigtration by Registrar of Trade Unions. In India White Collars Employees also have been allowed to form Unions.

From India, Thane
Human Resources Director

Hi! I am not asking this question from a legal point of view. But, I want to know really is how many of you feel a need for a union from your own point of view? Regards, Shyamali
From India, Nasik
Consultancy_HR & IR


Unionization is a rsponse to the treatment or the lack of it to the employees any given industrial environment. It can also emerge as a response to injustices heaped upon the employees or to need to garner collective security of employment etc.

In fact a Union's fundamental comitment is to "protect and further the rights" of the members.

The straight answer to your question depends upon the state of reality as to these and other similar factors. Sometimes the unionization starts because the employers underestimate the very existence of human beings called their employees. So, if the factors indicate the need to unionize, the white collar employees are quite likely (and may be, "should") opt for unionization.

Techically ANYONE can unionize! Whether he/she would get the benefit of protection and factors is a different matters is a different question, as these are available only to those employees who conform to the definition of a "workman" under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947. Further the status of "workman" as defined under the act is NOT dependent upon the wage/salary or the title to the job held by an individual. It depends primarily and fundamentally on the list of duties acctached to the job and individual performs at any given time.

There is nothing wrong about unionization. Its only that some (in fact most) individuals who misbehave and encourage misbehaviour under the protection of law, the politicians, weak administration and the judiciary have made unions wothry of hatred by most employers and they therefore feel the (at least) the white collered staff should NOT join Unions.

I would NOT generalize either way but am quite open to the process of unionization and their existence even if it leads to temporary hostile relations. Its a new challenge! We can manage the relationship also by giving to the interaction intelligent inputs!

Unions suggest "representative, institutional, transactional relationships between variuos interest groups in the industrial context". This a very challenging areana for new skills in relationship management. It is convenient. It forces parties to assume joint responsibilities of the well being and growth of the organization and generally makes the industrial system more accountable and democratic. It contributes largely to purging the system of feudality and authoritarian culture!

Where total employment is small, there may not be needed unionization, but when one has to deal with large numbers, it is convenient to have a union on board. How to make them responsible, orient them to the organizational and collective inetersts will be the new challenge before us.

Shyamali, this reply could have been in one word-YES/NO, but in the interests of the message board I have elected to make a detailed reply, Kind bear with this!



September 25, 2006

From India, Pune
This discussion thread is closed. If you want to continue this discussion or have a follow up question, please post it on the network.
Add the url of this thread if you want to cite this discussion.

About Us Advertise Contact Us
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service

All rights reserved @ 2021 Cite.Co™