RIGHTS – The word “RIGHT” brings the meaning “something to which one has a just or legal claim” or “ possession to which one is automatically entitled to”
The RIGHT to food, the RIGHT to speak freely, and the RIGHT to form associations for economic, social and political aims are some of the fundamental human rights. These rights are rooted in human nature.
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Adopted and Proclaimed by the General Assembly
Resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protections of his interest.
RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
The structure of a trade Union should be based on democratic principles – majority rules but the minority is not oppressed. The union Constitution and By-Laws should be so framed as to confer various rights to members to ensure its democratic functions.
RIGHTS OF WORKERS PROTECTIONS and GRIEVANCE - If any member has any grievance relating to employment, it is his/her rights to raise this, and to seek redress through the Union.
UNION CONSTITUTION – It is the right of a member to be supplied with a copy of his/her Union’s Constitution free of charge.
SUPREME – Members are supreme in a trade union. They elect their leaders. They frame or decide the policies and rules of the union. All this is done democratically-directly or indirectly.
Members by SECRET-BALLOTS may decide on the following:
Election of union officers
Election of Delegates
Alliance with other Unions
The above could also be decided by the Supreme Body
Members have the rights to demand for a EXTRA ORDINARY GENERAL MEETING. To deliberate on any matter they consider appropriate.
INSPECTION OF BOOKS – every member has the right to inspect Union books and accounts.
NOMINATION – it is right of every member, subject to certain Rules, to seek nomination to any official position in the Union.
EQUAL RIGHTS – Excepts as otherwise provided in the rules, all members of the Union shall have equal rights in the Union.
RESPONSIBLITIES OF MEMBERS
RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES go hand-in-glove. They go together. It is basic and fundamental that no one demand rights without being prepared to discharge his responsibilities. Any member can lose his/her rights, if (s) he fails to discharge his/her responsibilities.
It is every member’s duty to pay his/her UNION DUES in accordance with the Union rules. If you are delinquent in payment, you are not a member in good standing and you may lose your right.
Your loyalty to your union (not to the leaders) must be without any reservation
If you are loyal, you will always support your Union morally, physically and financially whenever it is required.
All members should participate and effectively contribute in meetings, secret balloting and other activities of the Union.
It is the duty of all members to be vigilant to ensure that the Union Leaders discharge their responsibilities with integrity, commitment and courage.
You must BE ALERT of what is happening not only to your Union, but also in the country and in the society. For the goals of the Unions are not just to improve working conditions but to reform society and to restore the dignity of the working class.
Criticism is the basis on which democracy function. Constructive criticisms contribute to the progress and success of any institution. No member of a trade union should be loath to criticisms, where necessary, of any shortcomings of the leaders. But such criticisms must be confined within the limits of your organization. Criticisms of leaders outside the forums of the Unions must be avoided.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICIAL
1. The primary responsibility of Union officials is to lead the members and to administer the Union in accordance with the rules and policies of the union.
2. Union Officials must educate their members to enable them to be conscious of their rights and their responsibilities not only as a Union member but also as a human being.
7. Union Officials must always bear in mind that autocracy and dictatorship are taboo to trade union organization
8. Transaction of Union Funds should be carried out with absolute honesty and according to the rules and decisions of the union, and also for the benefit of the members.
It is also part of their responsibility to persistently strive for the establishment of conditions conducive for the progress of the labor movement and the well being of the membership. These conditions include better labor laws, harmonious industrial relation and economic and social justice.
Finally, they must be prepared to accept criticisms without being unduly offended.