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....

From India, Poona
General Manager - Hr
Safety Professional In Tata Motors
Raj Kumar Hansdah
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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.
From India, Bangalore
Sunny Pallan
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 ?
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.

From Philippines, Davao City
Sunny Pallan
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 ?

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?

From India, Kolhapur
S D Patil

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"

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


From India, Pune
Raj Kumar Hansdah

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. "



Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Sunny Pallan
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...

From India, Poona

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