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In this blogpost, Sonal Srivastava, Student, Amity Law School, Lucknow, writes about the procedure to register a trade union under the Trade Unions Act, 1926

Chapter II of the Trade Unions Act, 1926 deals with the provisions of the registration of trade unions. According to section 2 (h) of the Act, “Trade Union” means any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more Trade Unions. Thus, the present article shall deal with the most important aspect of trade union, and that is the registration of trade unions.

Appointment of Registrars

According to section 3 of the Act, the appropriate government shall appoint a person to be the Registrar of Trade Unions for each state, and the appropriate government shall also appoint as many additional registrars as it may deem fit to carry out the purposes of the Act.

Mode of Registration

According to section 4 of the Act, any seven or more members of a Trade Union in accordance with the provisions of the Act may make an application apply for registration of the trade union. There are two conditions subsequent to the same, firstly no trade union of workmen shall be registered unless at least 10% or 100 of the workmen, whichever is less engaged in the employment of the establishment are its members on the date of making of its application and secondly no trade union shall be registered unless on the date of making of application, minimum seven of its members who are workmen are employed in the establishment or industry.

Also, such application shall not be deemed to be invalid merely on the ground that at any time after the date of the application, but before the registration of the trade union some of the members but not exceeding half of the total number of persons who made the application has ceased to be members.

Application for registration

According to section 5 of the Act, every application for the registration of the trade union shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the Trade Union and a statement of the following particulars namely-

  1. The names, occupations and addresses of the members making the application;
  2. The name of the trade union and the address of its head office, and
  3. The titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of the office- bearers of the trade union.

Where a trade union has been into existence for more than a year, then a copy of the assets and liabilities shall also be submitted along with the application for registration.
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Provisions to be contained in the rules of a Trade Union

According to section 6 of the Act, a Trade Union shall not be entitled to registration under the Act unless the executive committee has been established in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules provide for the following-

  1. The name of the trade union;
  2. The whole of the objects for which the trade union has been established;
  3. The whole of the purposes for which the general funds of the trade union shall be applicable;
  4. The maintenance of a list of the members of the trade union;
  5. The admission of ordinary members who shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the trade union is connected;
  6. The conditions under which any member shall be entitled to any benefit assured by the rules and under which any fine or forfeiture may be imposed on the members;
  7. The manner in which the rules shall be amended, varied or rescinded;
  8. The manner in which the members of the executive and the other office bearers of the Trade Union shall be elected and removed;
  9. The safe custody of the funds of the trade union, an annual audit, in such manner, as may be prescribed, of the accounts thereof, and adequate facilities for the inspection of the account books by the office bearers and members of the trade union, and;
  10. The manner in which the trade union may be dissolved.

Power to call for further particulars and to require alteration of name

According to section 7 of the Act, the registrar may call for further information for the purpose of satisfying himself that whether all the particulars are in accordance with section 5 and 6 of the Act.

In case the trade union applying for registration bears a name identical to that of an existing trade union and the registrar feels that the name so resembles that of the other that there are fairs chances of the persons being misled then the registrar shall ask the trade union applying to change the name and shall refuse to register the same until such alteration has been made.


According to section 8 of the Act, if the registrar thinks that the trade union has complied with all the provisions of the Act, it shall register the Trade Union by entering in a register all the particulars in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Certificate of registration

According to section 9 of the Act, the registrar shall issue a certificate of registration to the trade union after registration under section 8 which shall be conclusive proof that a trade union has been duly registered.

Cancellation of registration

According to section 10 of the Act, a certificate of registration of a trade union may be cancelled or withdrawn or an application of the trade union to be verified in such manner as may be prescribed; where  the registrar is satisfied that the certificate has been obtained by fraud or mistake or the trade union has ceased to exist or has willfully and other notice from the registrar contravened any provisions of the Act and if the registrar is satisfied that a registered trade union ceases to have requisite number of members.


According to section 11 of the Act, any person aggrieved by any refusal to register a trade union or withdrawal of registration, etc by registrar may file an appeal where the trade union head office is situated within the limits of a presidency town to the High Court, or where the head office is situated in an area, falling within the jurisdiction of a Labour Court or an Industrial Tribunal, to that court or tribunal as the case may be; where the head office is situated in any area, to such court, not inferior to the court of an additional or assistant judge of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction as the  appropriate government may appoint.

On an application to the appropriate forum, the court may either dismiss the appeal or pass an order directing the registrar to take appropriate measures.

The court shall have the same powers of a civil court under Civil Procedure Code, 1908 and may follow the same procedures.

The highest appeal can be made to the High Court.

Registered office

According to section 12 of the Act, all communications shall be made on the registered office of the trade union

Incorporation of registered trade union

According to section 13 of the Act, every registered trade union shall be a body corporate having a common seal and perpetual succession with power to acquire and hold movable and immovable property and shall by the said name sue and be sued.


The presence of trade unions establishes a healthy relationship between the employer and workmen with a sense of responsibility towards each other. Trade unions define and channelize the rights of the workers with pressure on the employer to not deceit them. The registration of Trade Union ensures that a trade union duly certified and recognized and thereby the provisions for same are laid down exhaustively in the Act.

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  1. Can private engineering college professor and non teaching staffs together form a union and get registered under trade unions act 1926. If yes where to apply

  2. Good day
    I would like to find out if there can be any problem if the trade union doesn’t have a landline number since most of cables of telkom have been vandalised in our office area

  3. Is there any valid reason(s) for a duly registered trade union to be denied a certificate even after the Registrar of Trade Unions has sent in a notification of approval of registration by the Hon Minister of Labour to the concerned Union with a proviso that the certificate of registration shall be released in due course? What can be done in this case to effect the release?

  4. I have applied for labor union registration online on 20/01.2017 the Application successfully submitted on Bihar government website till from to day only status shows that APPLICATION RECEIVED
    Is there any time limitation to grant registration ? Please answer me


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