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Dear all,
Ours is a manufacturing industry having 460 employees who are covered by wage agreements. We have 4 registered trade unions. Recently trade union secret ballot elections were conducted by the labour department, and a union got majority and is recognized by the department of labour. Now they submitted charter of demands. We have to start negotiations with recognized trade union. They informed us they will form a wage negotiation committee with 40 members of their union. The number is too high. Kindly suggest whether any limitation or restriction in number of union members to form wage negotiation committee under ID Act or any other Act. Plz suggest urgently. Our MD is eagerly waiting for my reply. Hence plz do needful.

From United States, Cambridge
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
General Manager (accounts & Admn.)
Management Consultancy


No statutory restrictions or guidelines for forming committee for any particular purpose by a trade union. Basically, a trade union, being a representative body of all its members, negotiations can be conducted by its office bearers viz. President, vice-president, secretary treasurer etc. Similarly, the other side viz., the employer in the case of negotiations relating to wage revision and other general demands can be represented by the C.E.O, General Manager, Production Manager, Finance Manager, H.R Manager etc and not all the managers and suprvisors. Thus, when the negotiating team on either side is limited in number to the extent of their functional back ground and bargaining skills, it would be easy to segregate issues from non-issues and to
forge out a speedy agreement in the interest of both sides. When the number is very large like 40 or 50 on one side or both, it becomes unwieldy, unproductive, utterly chaotic affecting the amicability of the process of negotiation as well as consensus on points of mutual benefits. The management should bring this fact to the knowledge of the trade union in a convincing manner to limit the number of members of the negotiating team on its behalf.

Of course, the representative union when it legally acts as the sole bargaining agent on behalf of the entire 460 workmen belonging to different grades, sections or departments and scattered among different unions, can form an advisory committee representing each section. But the number of negotiating agents should be restricted to the office bearers mentioned above plus a legal advisor if they deem necessary and conduct the negotiations in the manner so as to achieve the results as per the mandate given by the advisory committee.

From India, Salem

In Central PSUs the wage negotiation takes place in a bipartite Committee with nearly 100 representatives. But 40 representatives in a unit of 460 workers is indeed a highly unviable number. It appears the newly elected recognised union wants to intimidate the management with their strength.
So you can deal with the matter by saying that notwithstanding the committee of the Union, the regular meeting will be held with their limited number of representatives, saying 5 or 6 and the bigger committee of the union would be present when the agreement is finalised.
It appears, this union is newly elected and to show their clout they are adopting this tactics.

From India, Mumbai
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