Trade Union in Bangladesh – Formation procedure in 2021 and everything you need to know

How to form Trade Union

This article will explain what is Trade Union, how to form Trade Union in Bangladesh, unfair labour practice by employers and the rules Trade Union need to comply with in Bangladesh.  

What is Trade Union? 

One single worker is not strong enough for protecting and advancing his and other workers’ interests. However, the rights of workers can be ensured if the fellow workers act together as a union for protecting their rights and interest. Thus, Trade Unions are an inherent necessity of the working class people in order to protect themselves from exploitation and injustices. Trade Union provide a platform for workers’ to act collectively and constitute an integral part of the relationship between employers and the employed.

A trade union means an association of workers from different professions formed for the purpose of protecting and advancing the members economic interest in connection with their daily work. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety, and policies.

Right to form Trade Union in Bangladesh 

Under the Labour Act 2006, all workers shall have the right to form Trade Union primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between employer and workers or workers and workers. 

In addition, under the Labour Act 2006, the employers shall have the right to form Trade Union primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between employer and workers or employers and employers. 

How to form Trade Union in Bangladesh 

There are certain requirements that need be fulfilled in order to successfully form a Trade Union in Bangladesh. Steps for forming a Trade Union are: 

  • Group of workers who wants to form a Trade Union first need to choose the President and Secretary for the Trade Union to represent them. Thereafter, the members of the association will authorise the selected President and Secretary through resolution.
  • Afterward the constitution of the Trade Union needs to be formed. 
  • A Trade Union can be registered only when it has a minimum membership of thirty percent of the total number of workers employed in the establishment in which it is formed. 
  • Once the membership to the Trade Union reaches the required percentage, an application for registration of the Trade Union needs to be made with the signature of the President and Secretary of the Trade Union. The application for registration need to be made to the Director of Labour. 
  • Along with the application for registration, every detail about the Trade Union need to be provided that include the name and address of the trade union, the objective of the Trade Union, the sources of fund of the Trade Union etc. A list of the required information that need to be submitted along with the application for registration has been mentioned in the Labour Act 2006.
  • If the Director of Labour is satisfied that a Trade Union has complied with all the requirements for registration as mentioned in the Labour Act 2006, he shall register the Trade Union. Thereafter, the registration certificate will be issued by the Director of Labour within sixty days from the date of receipt of the application for registration.  
  • The Director of Labour will then instruct the applicant in written to pay the specified fee in the government treasury through treasury challan for receiving certification of registration. Registration Fee for Trade Union is TK. 500 (five hundred taka). 
  • On the other hand, if the Director of Labour finds the application to be deficient in any material respect, he shall communicate in writing his objection to the Trade Union within a period of fifteen days from the receipt of the application. Thereafter, the Trade Union must reply to the objection within a period of fifteen days from the receipt of the objection. 
  • If the objection is satisfactorily met then the Trade Union will be registered otherwise it will be rejected. 

Disqualification for being a member of Trade Union 

A person shall not be entitled to be a member of a Trade Union if: 

  1. He has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude or an offence under section 196 (2) (d) and 296 and at least 2years has not  lapsed since his release 
  2. Any person who does not work in the establishment. 

However, 10% of the officers can be from outside the establishment Compliance by Registered Trade Union 

If out of all the workers of an establishment, 20% are women, then the executive committee of the Trade Union must have 10% women members. 

  • Registered Trade Union must maintain register 
  • Register of members: subscription fee paid by each member 
  • Account book: details about expenditure etc 
  • Minute book 
  • Every change in the constitution of the Trade union, every change of its members, or change in name and address of the Trade Union shall be notified to the Director of Labour. Such must be done within fifteen days of the change or alteration. 

Unfair Labour practice by the employer 

No Employer or trade Union of employers and no person acting on their behalf shall: 

  • Restraint the right of worker through any employment contract from joining any Trade Union or continuing his membership of a Trade Union or , 
  • Refuse to employ or continue to employ on the ground that the person is or is not a member of a Trade Union  or,
  • Discrimination against a person on the ground that he is or is not a member of Trade Union or,
  • Dismiss, discharge or remove from employment or threaten to do so by reason that the worker is or propose to become or seeks to persuade any other worker to become a member of Trade Union or participates in the promotion or formation of a Trade Union. 
  •  Induce a person refrain from becoming or cease to be a member of a Trade Union by offering an advantage to him. 
  • Compel or attempt to compel any member or officer to sign a memorandum of settlement or arrive at a settlement by using threat, coercion, physical injury and disconnection to basic facilities such as water, power etc. 
  •  Fail to give reply to any communication made by the collective bargaining agent in respect of any industrial dispute. 
  • Commence, continue, instigate or incite others to take part in an illegal lock-out. 
  • Transfer the President, General Secretary, Organising Secretary or Treasurer of any Trade Union from one district to another without his consent. 

LEGAL ADVICE ON LABOUR AND TRADE UNION MATTERS AT CLP

The Barristers, Advocates, and lawyers at CLP in Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh are highly experienced at dealing with employment matters including Trade Union. In addition to handling various issues related to domestic clients on a regular basis, it also has experience in consulting and assisting numerous international clients with utmost care and attention throughout their legal troubles.  For queries or legal assistance, please reach us at:

 E-mail:[email protected]
Phone:+8801700920980. +8801947470606. Address: House 39, Road 126 (3rd Floor) Islam Mansion, Gulshan 1, Dhaka.

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