Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant

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Whether maintenance department workers can be office bearers of the Union? Maintenance department comes under essential service, so maintenance workers are not to be included in the Union office bearers list. Is it correct? Need clarification on this please.
From India, Pondicherry
Dear Gopu,
I am afraid whether such a view, particularly from the Management's side, would be correct. Union membership is a fundamental right of employees. Becoming an office bearer of a union springs up from one's membership in that union only. Holding an office in the union cannot interfere with any employees' regular duties and responsibilities. If it is your argument that the work of the maintenance department would be more demanding, it is for the individual to arrange his union works accordingly. Even if the above view is from a fellow member of the same union, it cannot be upheld for from the point of view of effective functioning of the union, the services of its office bearers are quite essential. When the person from the maintenance department is the best-suited for a particular post in the union, you cannot leave him simply aside because of his job.
Therefore, in my opinion, as long as an individual employee/union member is otherwise qualified for any official position in the union, his job position or department in the organization cannot be a bar.
Most importantly, the employer has no locus standi in such an affair of a union.

From India, Salem
Dear Colleague,
Our learned colleague is right on dot about his views which I fully share.
Whether any employee should become a member of any Union or get elected as office bearer is not within your domain . You have no say on it. All you can do is that the concerned employee- office bearer should be clearly made to understand that he is employee first and then member or office bearer. He is paid for doing his job sincerely and honestly. He can undertake responsibilities as office bearer but by no means affecting his job responsibilities.
Neither you should have any grudge about his being office bearer nor he should have for your legitimate work performance expectations as long as they are not allowed to mutually clash with each other.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant.

From India, Mumbai
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