Application and Recognition Of Trade Union under MRTU and PULP ACT,1972


For a trade union to be recognised one must apply for the recognition, the applicant union should proceed for application should have thirty percentage or more than thirty percentage of the total members of the employee employed in any undertaking for minimum period of six calendar months, may apply in the prescribed form of the industrial court for being registered and recognised union for such undertaking.

The applicant union must be presented in front of industrial court within three months of the date of the receipt of application. And an application from local area must be disposed in three months and an application in other case must be disposed in four months.

Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, Mumbai v. Chefair Employees Guild, Mumbai (2009) (Bombay H.C.)

Petitioner Union, Chefair Employees Guild, Mumbaihas been functioning as a registered trade Union of M/s. Chefair Flight Catering, Respondent No.2. They have been signing different settlement with Respondent No.2 relating to the conditions of service matters of member employees and other matters Respondent No.1, Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, Mumbai- Union on 28th October 2003 filed an application, for the period from April 2003 to September 2003, notice of which was displayed on 17th December 2003.  the Petitioner – Union filed an application for implement as a necessary party which was allowed by the Industrial Court, Mumbai. Thereafter, on 5th January 2004, the Petitioner-Union filed the Written statement opposing the application for recognition filed by Respondent No.1-Union, and on 6th February 2004 Respondent No.1 filed an application for appointment of Investigating Officer for verification of relevant documents/records of Respondent No.1. The Investigating Officer submitted his report on 1st July 2004, and it recorded the finding that there were 391 total employees, out of which the Petitioner Union had claimed 259 as their members and Respondent No.1 Union had claimed 251 as their members. Finding 171 employees were common members of both the Unions.  Stated that Respondent No.1 had total membership of 64.19 % and if the common members were excluded, then the membership would be 20.46%. Respondent No.1 Union had got membership of 20.46% which was below 30% so their application was rejected.

Force Motors Ltd. V. Poona Employees Union. – Industrial Court granted recognition to respondent challenged by petitioner. – Held: – Judgment of Industrial Court appears contradictory on facts & conclusions. Reasoning given is not in conformity with conclusion, impugned order set aside.[2]


There can be only one recognised trade union in any industry. Although there can be multiple unrecognised trade unions of different political parties, but it is crucial and legal to have only one recognised trade union.

  • For any trade union that wants to be recognised, it is the first step that they apply in the industrial court for the same, with the application fees of not more than Rs.5. Then the industrial court sends the investigating officer to stick the notice regarding the date and states that it is willing to recognize the said union on the notice board of undertaking. Industrial court calls upon any objections from other unions or workers or employer himself, “On what objection they have?”[4]
  • If industrial court has received any written objection from either of other trade unions or workers then the industrial courts inquire and investigated against the applicant union whether they have committed any fraud or have recognised, participated in any illegal strikes or in any other unfair labour practices. And if they do not find any such allegations to be true than they recognise the applicant trade union and provide the certificate.[5]
  • Any movement of time if any other trade union claims to have a greater number of people than the applicant trade union or recognised trade union or has the largest membership than any other trade union and satisfies the condition for recognition under S.11[6] and S.19[7] of the MRTU and PULP Act, and notifies the court about the same then the Industrial court sends an investigating officer who will do a thorough scrutiny about the same and investigates the both unions about the larger membership and if have participated in any illegal strikes or unlawful labour practices grants. If application by the other union is verified, then the industrial court grant such recognition to the other union and will issue the certificate of its recognition.[8]
  • In any industry there should be only one recognised trade union, yet there can be numerous unrecognised trade union.[9]
  • If any trade union works under the beneficiary of the employer instead of employee and works under the interest of the employer than such union will not be recognised by the industrial court.[10]
  • Any trade union, within the period of six months have helped, participated, originated, or supported the commencement or continuation of any illegal strike, will not recognise any such trade union.[11]

Kamgar Utkar Sabha v. Benett Coleman & Co[12]

 Petitioner Union is that the Industrial Court aid does not grant the request made by it to hear its application dated 3.8.1984 filed under Section 11 of the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour practices Act, 1971 along with the application of the 2nd respondent Union filed by it in 1980 for the very same purpose. The order refusing to hear the two applications together is impugned in this petition. Relevant date for considering the membership of a union applying for recognition is the date of its application & not the date of deciding that application. (object – to avoid mushroom growth of unions & to secure industrial peace. There shall be not more than one recognized trade union.) The Bombay High Court has observed that the provisions of Ss. 11 and 12 of the Act, relating to recognition of unions are intended to avoid a “mushroom growth” of unions and to secure industrial peace.[13]

[1] Section 11 of MRTU & PULP Act


[3] Section 12 of MRTU & PULP Act

[4] Section 12(1) of MRTU & PULP Act

[5] Section 12(2) of MRTU & PULP Act

[6]  Application for trade union

[7] Obligations of trade union

[8] Section 12(3) of MRTU & PULP Act

[9] Section 12(4) of MRTU & PULP Act

[10] Section 12(5) of MRTU & PULP Act

[11] Section 12(6) of MRTU & PULP Act

[12] 1985 1 CLR 118


Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.