Unfair Labour Practices on the Part of Employers and Trade Unions of Employers


Unfair labour practices are those practices which are prohibited by law, they are the practices which are not legal and they are not precise practices to do.

A fresh schedule  V has been added by the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act  1982. In this schedule, unfair labour practices have been defined. It contains a list of such practices as are treated unfair on the part of the employer’s or their Trade Unions, or on the part of workmen and their Trade Unions.

These are the practices which are unfair and they do not have any legal backing as they are unfair they are prohibited by law.

Unfair labour practices by employers and trade unions of employers

1. To interfere with, restrain from ,or coerce, workmen in the exercise of their rights to organise , from, join or assist a Trade Union or to engage in concerted activities with the objective of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, that is to say :-

  • Threatening workmen that they will be discharged or dismissed , if they join a trade union;
  •  lock-out or closure are been threatened , if a trade union is organised;
  • Granting wage increase to workmen at crucial periods of union organisation, with a view to undermining the efforts of the trade union at organisation.

2. To interfere or dominate  with or contribute support, financial to any trade union, that is to say:-

  • If an employer is taking an active interest in organising a trade union of his workmen; and
  • An employer showing or doing partiality or granting favour to one of several trade unions attempting to arrange or organise  his workmen or to its members where such trade union is not a recognised trade union.

3. To establish or maintain employer sponsored trade unions of workmen.

4. To encourage or discourage membership in any trade union by discriminating against any workman, that is to say :-

  • Discharging or punishing a workman, because he urged other workmen to join  or organise a trade union;
  • Discharging or dismissing a workman for taking part in the strike ( not being strike which is deemed to be an illegal strike under this Act);
  • The changed seniority rate due to changed trade union activities
  • Refusing to promote your workmen to higher posts on account of their trade union activities;
  • Giving promotions which are not according to the work down by them to  some  workmen with a view to create feeling of jealous and discord  among other workmen , or to undermine or reduce  the strength of their trade union;
  • Office bearers and active members of the Union are discharged due to their work in the trade union.

5. To discharge or dismissed workmen:-

  • By way of victimisation;
  • Not in good faith, but taking the advantage of the colourable right of the employer.
  • Falsely implicated the workman on false evidence in criminal case.
  • For patently false reasons;
  • On untrue or trumped-up allegations of absence without leave;
  • In utter disregard of the principles of natural justice in the conduct of domestic enquiry or with undue haste.

6. To abolish the work of a regular nature being done by workmen, and to give such work to contractors as a measure of breaking a strike.

7. Transferring the mala fide workman from one place to another, by disguising under the following management policy.

8. To insist upon individual workmen, who are on a legal strike to sigh a bond of good conduct  as  a condition pre to allow them to resume or restart their work

9. To show or do favouritism or partiality to certain workmen regardless of the merit.

10. To employ workmen as badly , casuals or temporaries and to continue them as such for years with the object of depriving them of the status and privileges of permanent workmen.

11. To discharge or discriminate against any workmen who has filed charges or testifying against an employer in any enquiry or proceedings which is related to any industrial dispute.

12. To enlist an workman during strike which is not an illegal strike.

13. Failure to implement award, settlement or agreement.

14. To feed in acts of force or violence.

15. To show disinterest to bargain collectively, in good faith with the acknowledge trade unions.

16. Submitting or continuing a lock- out adjudged to be illegal under this act.,


It is difficult to define and lay down exhaustive test of unfair labour practices but it may be said that any practice which violates the directive principles of state policy contained in article 43 of constitution and such other articles as deal with the decent wages and living conditions for workmen amount to unfair practice.

Read – Employment Law And Wretched Functionaries Of The Legal System


Content Writer, Law Corner, B.A.LL.B(Hons), 5th Semester, Unity Law and PG college

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