The proposed Bill, likely be introduced in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, has provisions for recognising central trade unions by various government departments, at both the central and state levels. There are provisions empowering the Centre to frame rules for recognising unions and resolving disputes involving them. The move will help the government have a say in cases such as those witnessed recently, where there were factions in the Congress-backed Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Trade Unions Co-Ordination Centre. The government had, in 2016, barred INTUC from attending all consultation meetings after three leaders within the unit claimed to be leading the union.
Unions are not recognised under the Trade Unions Act, originally enacted in 1926. The office of the chief central labour commissioner conducts a verification drive of the membership, based on which the labour and employment ministry gives them the status of central trade unions. However, there is no statutory provision for either the recognition of a trade union in industry, or the establishment or recognition of a union at the central and state level.