If any company have two union - one has major nos of employees and the other are having few nos of employees. Is it required to negotiate with both unions for wage agreement under sec 12(3) /18 (3) of ID act or negation with the major union is sufficient and it will be also binding on other workmen who are a part of the minor union
2. if the minor union disagrees with the settlement done by the major union what help they will get if filed a case in labor court/tribunal

kindly share your expert views

Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Partner - Risk Management
Doctor Siva Global Hr
Master Consultant
Management Consultancy
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An Agreement with a Union is binding only on its members. So, it is better to involve the Labour Officer and resolve the matter through Conciliation process. Such settlement applies to all workmen. During the conciliation they may call the minority union and persuade them to come to an agreement.

If management has an approach to only deal with the majority union then you go ahead and sign formal agreement with that union and implement it to all workmen. Let the minority union come up with its members list who are not wanting the benefits of this agreement.

It is better to implement wage agreement involving both the unions otherwise there could be strained relations and affect the congenial IR so necessary for production process to go through smoothly.

From India, Mumbai

Dear friend,

If we critically analyze the scheme of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 with reference to its preamble which is primarily the speedy and peaceful resolution of industrial disputes, we would accept the fact that the most preferred method of dispute resolution under the Act is the process of collective bargaining inter alia conciliation, arbitration and adjudication. If we go deeper, when the groups of workmen with the same community of interest stand divided in terms of their anticipated benefits out of the methods of resolution, not only the employer but also the conciliator, arbitrator or the adjudicator is bound to determine the majority of the rivalling groups of workmen in addition to the equity and legality of the terms of the final resolution of the dispute. Only then the resolution would be workable.

In this back drop, when the workmen stand divided as majority and minority, it is better to involve the conciliation officer to arrive at a settlement u/s 12(3) of the ID Act,1947 after signing a bilateral settlement u/s 18(1) in order to ensure the uniformity of service conditions and effective implementation of the final settlement. Like I said earlier, the conciliation officer is bound to act as per the decision of the majority only which can be in any ratio starting from 51 - 49. Once signed before the conciliation officer under the Act, the settlement becomes applicable to all workmen alike until it is replaced by another settlement after its expiration.

From India, Salem

Dear Colleague,
This is a beautiful IR scenario that is commonly experienced by many of the Industries in case of any Key Settlements / LTS like Wages / Bonus and so on . The reply from great personalities in the filed like Umakanthan Sir who worked on this filed for several decades is very crisp and to the point to pick up.

In addition:

When the Workers divided into multiple unions ( more than one), there may be different % of membership and there will be major as well as minor membership scenario. In case of NO UNANIMITY in accepting the settlement if is always advisable to go for Tripartite Settlement under Section 12(3) of the ID Act 1947. Here even though both 18(1) and 12(3) settlements are equally good, there is a subtle difference in case of applicability:

***18(1) Settlements are applicable to Parties to the Settlement ( means the union/s singed)

***12(3) Settlements are applicable to all parties to whom notice of conciliation under ID Act 1947 is sent by the Conciliation Officer. (means to all workers / all unions to whom notice by conciliation officer is sent) as well as to the successors of both Management / Union

Hence it is better to go for a 12(3) settlement after reaching 18(1) settlement with majority Union. Here all the unions functioning in the Factory will be issued conciliation notice under the ID Act 1947 and once the settlement is concluded by the Conciliation Officer it becomes applicable to all those Union/s and their workers for whom the notice was served despite the fact whether such minority union take part in the conciliation as well as signs or not sings the settlement. This will be a good move.

From India, Chennai

Hello All;

It is ok we discuss this now under the old laws. In the new Codes, the provision is workers will elect their representatives and they will negotiate with the employer. There will thus be no question of majority union or recognised union or minority union.

New codes, the rules are to be made by each State which they are making and it will be made soon.

Vibhakar Ramtirthkar.

From India, Pune

Dear CiteHR Anonymous Member,

For kind attention: Industrial Disputes Act 1947 stands repealed.

Comments given above by our senior expert contributors, particularly Sir Umakanthan M, underline good advice in terms of provisions of ID Act 1947 which stands repealed by the Industrial Relations Code 2020. The IR Code 2020 provides us a very good solution to the above scenario.

Trade Unions, registered under Section 6 of IR Code 2020, shall be eligible for consideration to be recognized as "Negotiating Union" under Section 14. Where there are more than one Trade Unions, the one having 51% or more workers as its members, duly verified as per prescribed procedure, will be recognized by the Employer as Negotiating Union. Where there are more than one Trade Unions and none has 51% or more members, duly verified, then Employer will set up a Negotiating Council from amongst the representatives of registered Trade Unions which have minimum 20% of workers as their members, for remainder employees there will be one representative on every 20% of worker as may be verified.

From the above provisions of Section 14 of IR Code 2020 it is abundantly clear that an Employer shall enter into an agreement with the Negotiating Union or the Negotiating Council and such agreement shall be valid for 3 years. Agreement shall be reached by majority of representatives.

Hope the above position of IR Code 2020 provides adequate safeguard to the Employer and employees both for entering into an agreement.

I shall be obliged for further elaboration and understanding on the matter relevant to the subject.

Chandra Mani Lal Srivastava
Master Consultant 9315516083
Contract Management, Tender, Works, Service & IR Laws

New Delhi/26.02.2022/10:37 pm

From India, New Delhi

Dear Mr.Srivatsava,

I agree with your view on the repealing of all the 29 Central Labor Laws subsumed by the 4 Labor Codes recently passed and the effect of the union recognition provisions in the Code on Industrial Relations,2020 for the purpose of representation in the process of collective bargaining.

However, the enforcement notifications of these Codes are yet to be issued and many of the States have not yet framed their respective State Rules.

Therefore, till the enforcement notification of each Code is issued. the existing laws would be in force.

From India, Salem

Respected Sir Umakanthan M.
And CiteHR members

I am obliged by the kind words of Respected Sir Umakanthan M., and seek permission to state that the Govt. of India has already notified the IR Code 2020 on 29th September 2020 vide Gazette of India Extraordinary Notification No. CG-DL-E-29092020-222118.

Gazette notification is attached for kind perusal.

With sincere regards,
Chandramani Lal Srivastava
Master Consultant 9315516083
Contract Management, Tender, Works, Service and IR Laws

New Delhi/27.02.2022/11:15 pm

From India, New Delhi

Attached Files (Download Requires Membership)
File Type: pdf Ind Relation Code 2020 222118.pdf (444.1 KB, 35 views)


Dear Shrivastava

Please read sec 1 of the attachment you have posted.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Code and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Code shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

Till the time the implementation of the act is notified, it has zero effect. And for the last 2 years they have not done so.
Therefore the old laws are still valid and in place

From India, Mumbai

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