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General Manager - Hr
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Raj Kumar Hansdah
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+7 Others

Thread Started by #Sunny Pallan

Dear Sir,
I am working as a non managerial staff in a well known organisation in kerala. But there will be a chance for promotion this year and I will be promoted to managerial category. I am also holding a position as secretory in an internal trade union. Presently I am getting all the legal protection being a workman. Can I get the same protection after promotion ? If no what can I do ? pls reply....
7th December 2013 From India, Poona
No protection for managerial staff please. Because managers are supposed to be capable of protecting themselves. Status of protected workman is available to a workman only as per ID Act section 33.
7th December 2013 From India, Bangalore
OK. Thanks for your advice. But if my union is powerful enough to protect any of its office bearers from management action without the help of any authorities, can we do the same in that way ? I mean strike or something ?
7th December 2013 From India, Poona
Dear Sunny,
Congrats for your promotion! But sad to say you will no longer be enjoying all your privileges as a union member and will lost your position as the union secretary due to the fact that you will be now holding a managerial position in your company. You are now in the management side not on the labor side.
8th December 2013 From Philippines, Davao City
Thanks Bro,
Thanks for your valuable advice. This is not about the privileges by holding the post of union sec. I want to know the +vs and -vs about this promotion. Thats all. Any way, there is just 2 choices in-front of me.
1) Hand over the union responsibility to next person.
2) Take a bold decision that I don't need a promotion.
For my personnel gain 1st one is good. And to continue with union responsibilities, I need to sacrifice my personnel gain. Am I correct ?
8th December 2013 From India, Poona
Subject - Re: union office bearer- Legal protection during promotion to managerial category
By selecting the option No 1 you are refusing the opportubity of promotion. Promotion means better pay package,better status & further chances for progress which you are refusing. You want to stay with Union protection which is wrong. Suppose in the year 2014 your company for certain reasons, decided to retrench ( I assume that your company do not require to obtain permission for retrenchment) 25% workman & you are one of them. Being Union secretary you do not have special individual protection which will save you from retrenchment. I think you have developed the fear of employment & hence opting for the above option. Any person who is having vision , definetly will accept the challenge of promotion. Everyone has to face the risk factor in his life. Dont you want this?
8th December 2013 From India, Kolhapur
Subject - Re: union office bearer- Legal protection during promotion to managerial category
Dear S Pallan
Pl treat my earlier post-By selecting option No 2 which is for= "Take a bold decision that I do not need promotion"
8th December 2013 From India, Kolhapur

Basically the "workman" in labour law has defined protection against loss of job!

But the cost that he pays for this "job security" is in the nature of limited personal and professional growth.

As an individual you can grow to the extent your talents and training will take you to and the opportunities that you come across.

To hope to achieve benefits from the promotional opportunities and to continue to enjoy "protection" of law or of the Union is like wishing the "best of both the worlds".

This does NOT happen in real world of work.

It is a call one has to take himself. Others can advise only based on their perspectives.

You cannot hope for the unlimited growth opportunities to come your way and to be able to protect yourself/insure yourself from loss of job/employment (thanks to Union friends!).

This is a dishonest thought that will NEVER stand you in good stead. This is a contradiction that cannot work!

However, to be technical about the matter, one can remain a member a member of the Union despite entering managerial ranks (especially in socialist countries). In India also you may be able to do that but if your management does not like this attitude, you could get marching orders straight way since you will no longer be a "workman" in the eyes of labour law and you would have lost all legal protection. In such an eventuality you may have to depend only upon the negative/coercive capability of your Union. I would not count on that, if I were you. The might of the corporate can afford a bitter struggle, especially on the issue of ethics, right cause and law and the Union friends have limited strength to win this dishonest and evil fight. Soon a day will come you will be bereft of supporters as the livelihood becomes more or more difficult for the members of the Union, with no wages.

But tell me are you AFRAID to soar the skies on your own to grow? Why do you need the crutches and shackles of Union membership and yet want to fly high?

Please reconsider your position and decide the matter but for heaven's sake do not choose to a life dishonesty and lack of integrity!

If you do not like this advice, simply ignore.

Good Luck.



December 8, 2013


8th December 2013 From India, Pune
Please refer to this post, made earlier on the subject, by one of our senior member and HR expert, Sh. T.K. Madhu :
" Normally a trade union is said to be a union or association of similar kind of employees or employees having a similar bargaining goal. There is nothing in the Trade Union Act which prevents a Managerial staff member to join a trade union. The Trade Union Act has defined workman as any person employed and it does not have any relation with the definition of workman as given in the Industrial Disputes Act. Therefore, any employee is free to join a trade union. But since a union is an association of employees of related interests, if a manager joins a trade union formed for the benefit of workers, his interests or demands will not be discussed in a meeting of the workers. Moreover, a manager will not get the protections offered in the ID Act which are available to workmen. As such by joining a trade union a manager is inviting problems like negative remarks in performance appraisal and subsequent disciplinary action as it is found fit by the top management rather than strengthening his demands. Being a manager, he will not get any protection under the ID Act or the certified Standing Orders of the company, if available and his conditions of service will be decided on the basis of his contract of employment with the employer. Therefore, if the management decides that his services shall be terminated after giving due notice, it will be maintainable. However, it should be remembered that he should be a manager in all respect with supervisory or managerial powers and should not be confined to a mere designation.

Courts have held that managers can form trade unions. In Government Tool Room and Training Centres Supervisory and Officers’ Association, Bangalore Vs Asst. Labour Commissioner & Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions, Bangalore [(2002) 2 LLJ 339 (Kar)], it was held that any group of employees irrespective of whether they are ‘workmen’ under Industrial Disputes Act or not can be registered as a trade union under Trade Union Act. "


attribution https://www.citehr.com/398360-trade-...#ixzz2mu0MuDqx

Warm regards.
8th December 2013 From India, Delhi
Dear SDP...
your 2nd posting was different than first. And too short.. Can u detail... if u have time, please... I am trying to make a decision...
Dear Samved..
Thanks.. I know.. I can't put my legs in two boats. I need to choose one. But I am still confused... Being a union sec there were a lot of circumstances that me and management were in tight fighting. And I am thinking that after promotion they will treat me very badly...
8th December 2013 From India, Poona
Hi Rajkumar,
Thanks for the details. In my organisation managerial category starts with engineer post. Then Sr engineer, Asst manager etc... Are engineers are under managerial category in other firms....
8th December 2013 From India, Poona
Yes; generally Engineers come under Managerial category. However, in some companies, "Diploma Engineers" are taken in Supervisory category. Regards.
8th December 2013 From India, Delhi

Two possibilities emerge!

Either your existing organization is promoting you with an evil design or is authentically offering you noticing your qualities of leadership, communication etc,,an opportunity to grow.

If their observations regarding your qualities are correct and their intention is suspect it is safe to DENY this opportunity within the organization and look for similar opportunity outside of the organization (which is going to be rather difficult owing to your involvement with a trade union. Managing this conversion from a bargainable status to a non bargainable status within the same organization is relatively easy. If later you see foul intentions then you are still free to look for another opportunity outside. (Now easier-relatively, as you have already managed the conversion already.) But if you have no reasons to suspect your present management's intention, then you must pick up courage to make most of this opportunity of a lifetime.

In the present situation you have been benefited by the organization's admission of your qualities, notwithstanding their intentions. Here is a window to a new world of opportunities to realize your potentials.

Does this set at rest some of your anxieties?

Think deep and you will be able to resolve your own dilemma!



December 9, 2013


9th December 2013 From India, Pune
Dear Sunny
Congratulations on being conferred with a promotion. You have rightly mentioned that being a Union Seceretary you had a tough time with Management guys. Being a professional organisation your seniors & you should understand that by giving them a tough time was the demand of your role which you have justified being in that position, there is nothing personal grutches against any of the seniors. I am also confident that you might have taken those bold decisions for the interest of the organisation and not for your personal gain.
My opinion suggests you to grab the promotion opportunity & prove yourself in your new role.
All the Best
9th December 2013 From India, Delhi
Dear Sunny, Your issue appears to me to get the better of both the options i.e., by remaining to be the Secretary of union you would like to avail the promotion and be counted as a mangerial personnel. Yes, it is possible. First of all, the ID Act or Trade Union does not prohibit you from being a union member or union functionary after promotion to the managerial cadre. As it appears, your union is recognised and hence being a protected workman under Section 33 (3 &4) of the ID Act 1947 you would continue to get the umberlla of protection. There are several cases of employeees in supervisory/executive cadre continuing to be active trade union office bearer, particularly in PSUs, Banks etc. There would be some role conflict but it is seen that in many cases the respective managements won't burden such employees with managerial duties, instead they continue to be workmen only, in technical terms as per ID Act. KK
9th December 2013 From India, Bhopal
Dear Sunny

It is very simple. Person who has SUPERVISORY power in the organisation, given by the management, or else, if any employees are working under you, that means, under law, you can escape under the banner UNION and PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEE. Your say that you are expecting a promotion means there is something fishy role either by the management promoting you to a higher level OR you escape from union activities. Both are equally risky one. I can share example of many of my friends who continued to be in the same organisation for years together, never gets a promotion, even if according to their capabilities qualification the knowledge they gained they can work in the cadre of any SENIOR MANAGEMENT LEVEL. They still continue to work in the union and protect their employees and himself by parting with their knowledge in the labour law. I will advise if you are capable of working in supervisory/managerial level, world is open for you for a bright futrue, leaving aside all your union activities OR continue to proect your fellow employees leaving your expectation of promotion. Both are too good in the eyes of god.

Thks & Rgds

Vijayan Krishnan
9th December 2013
Besides the points mentioned in the above posts, which are all relevant, you have to take into consideration your age, qualification and family commitments also before taking a decision either way. Social status is also another factor to reckon with.
9th December 2013 From India, Madras
be careful if they they did not like you they may sack you after your promotion or amend your trade union constitution so as to make management staff also into your union as members and change the title of the union.
9th December 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Dear Rao
While appreciating your concern and contribution; I must remind all that such interference by the Management in Union activity would amount to Unfair Labour Practices and punishable by Law.
Warm regards.
Raj Kumar
9th December 2013 From India, Delhi
Nothing sort of this is going to happen, no one is going to treat you badly just because of your elevation. There are numerous cases where people from Trade Union posts have gone to managerial posts and succeeded.
In fact you will be in better position to understand and resolve many issues related to management and workmen.
9th December 2013 From India, Suri
Hi Friends,
Thanks for your concern. Let us conclude like this,
most of the people advised to say "YES" to promotion, but it will be better to hand over union responsibilities to someone.
and some people advised to keep union responsibilities along with managerial status.
Any way, b4 taking any decision I need to discuss the details with family. I will come back...
9th December 2013 From India, Poona
Subject - Re: union office bearer- Legal protection during promotion to managerial category
Dear S Pallan
I want you to opt for opportunity of promotion. Promotion will take you to additional responsibilities, pay rise, status & thereby a chance to show your skill & performance. Whereas if you stick up with the so called "union secretary protection" you won't have opportunity to accept new challenge & career growth. Forget the fear of employment & concentrate on performance. This is what I want to suggest
10th December 2013 From India, Kolhapur
Dear Mr.Sunny,

You have received responses from several learned members of this forum. The only aspect that I would like to add is, if you hand over your union responsibilities and join the Management band wagon, certain decisions that could benefit the organisation may affect the workmen. For example, downsizing due to economic slowdown, engagement of contract labour etc., In such instances, if you are promoted, you need to wear the Management's hat and sort out the matter. In other words, if you continue to wear the Union hat you will find it difficult.

The workmen on the other hand will expect you to wear the Union hat, though you are no longer a Union office bearer (as you have expressed that you intend to hand over the union responsibilities in the event of a promotion).

As rightly pointed out by a member both sides are important. The first one offers personal growth and also offers you opportunity to nurture and grow the organisation from perspectives not explored by the organisation till now. The second one offers social responsibility status and offers opportunity to protect the workmen.

You seem to a balanced personality and have promised to get back to us after discussing with your family members.

All the very best.

11th December 2013 From India, Madras
mr sunny, first make sure there no malafide intention behind your promotion offer by management
11th December 2013 From India, Hyderabad
Dear Mr. Sunny,
Acceting/refusing promotion is entirely personal decision. By this time you must have read the opinions coming from the esteemed members. If your Union is going to support you for all the times to come then just don't be content in the internal union, take up the union to wider forum by remaining in the very same post or use promotion to fly high, gain experience, come back after some time and use your experience by becoming full time Union activist.
Remember whether you are worman or not there is no guarantee of employment.
6th January 2014 From India, Nagpur
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