TRADE UNIONS ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR AND OTHER OFFICERS

3. Appointment of Registrar.

4. Appointment of Assistant Registrars and other officers.

5. All officers deemed to be public officers.

6. Protection of public officers.

PART III

REGISTRATION

7. Register of trade unions.

8. Necessity for registration.

9. Application for registration.

10. Registration.

11. Certificate of registration.

12. Power of Registrar to call for further information.

13. Power of Registrar to require alteration of the name.

14. Refusal of registration.

15. Withdrawal or cancellation of registration.

16. Appeal to District Court.

17. Appeal to Court of Appeal.

18. Consequences of failure to register or of withdrawal or cancellation of registration.

PART IV

SPECIAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO TRADE UNIONS OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

19. Interpretation of this Part.

20. Declaration that certain associations of public officers are trade unions.

21. Restriction as to registration of unions to which this Part applies.

22. Cancellation of registration of union to which this Part applies.

23. Certain provisions of this Ordinance not to apply to certain trade unions.

24. Saving for operation of other provisions of this Ordinance.

PART V

RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF TRADE UNIONS

25. Disabilities of unregistered union.

26. Immunity from civil action in certain cases.

27. Trade union not liable for tortuous act.

28. Liability in contract.

29. Objects in restraint of trade not unlawful in case of registered trade.

30. Proceedings by and against trade unions.

PART VI

CONSTITUTION

31. Membership of minors.

32. Officers of trade union.

33. Change of name.

34. Amalgamation.

35 Notice of change of name or amalgamation.

36. Effect of change of name or amalgamation.

37. Registered office.

38. Rules.

39. Notice of change of officers.

40. Notice of dissolution.

41. Trustees.

PART VII

PROPERTY

42. All property vested in trustees.

43. Devolution of property.

44. Purchase or lease of land or buildings.

PART VIII

FUNDS AND ACCOUNTS

45. Application of funds.

46. Purposes for which the funds of a union shall not be applied.

47. Political objects and political fund.

48. Injunction to restrain unauthorised or unlawful expenditure of funds.

49. Treasurer to render accounts.

50. Annual returns.

51. Inspection of accounts and documents.

PART IX

REGULATIONS

52. Regulations.

53. Approval of regulations.

PART X

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

54. Penalty for misuse of money or property of a registered trade union.

55. Supplying to false information regarding trade unions.

56. Penalty for failure to comply with requirements of this Ordinance in regard to returns.

57. General penalty.

58. Limitation of prosecutions.

59. Saving of offences under other written law.

PART XI

MISCELLANEOUS

60. Ordinance not to affect certain agreements.

61. Certain Ordinances not to apply to trade unions.

62. Service of legal process.

SCHEDULES

14 of 1935,

3 of 1946.

15 of 1948,

18 of 1958,

24 of 1970.

AN ORDINANCE to provide for the registration and control of Trade Unions.

[Date of Commencement: 1st November, 1935]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Trade Unions Ordinance.

2. Interpretation.

In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires—

"executive” means the body, by whatever name called, to which the management of the affairs of a trade union is entrusted and includes the president, the secretary and the treasurer of any trade union;

"lock-out” means the closing of a place of employment or the suspension of work, or the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of persons employed by him in consequence of a dispute, done with a view to compelling those persons, or to aid another employer in compelling persons employed by him, to accept terms or conditions of or affecting employment;

"officer” when used with reference to a trade union, includes any member of the executive thereof, but does not include an auditor;

"prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made under section 52 of this Ordinance;

"register” means the register of trade unions maintained by the Registrar under section 7;

"registered office” means that office of a trade union which is registered under this Ordinance as the head office of the trade union;

"registered trade union” means a trade union registered under this Ordinance;

"Registrar” means the person for the time being appointed under section 3 by name or by office to be or to act as Registrar of Trade Unions, and includes any person appointed under section 4 to be or to act as an Assistant Registrar of Trade Unions;

"regulation” means a regulation made by the Minister under section 52;

"strike” means the cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any trade or industry acting in combination, or a concerted refusal, or a refusal under a common understanding of any number of persons who are, or have been so employed, to continue to work or to accept employment;

"trade dispute” means any dispute or difference between employers and workmen, or between workmen and workmen connected with the employment or non-employment, or the terms of the employment, or with the conditions of labour, of any person;

"trade union” means any association or combination of workmen or employers, whether temporary or permanent, having among its objects one or more of the following objects—

(a) the regulation of relations between workmen and employers, or between workmen and workmen or between employers and employers; or

(b) the imposing of restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business; or

(c) the representation of either workmen or employers in trade disputes; or

(d) the promotion or organisation of financing of strikes or lock-outs in any trade or industry or the provision of pay or other benefits for its members during a strike or lock-out,

and includes any federation of two or more trade unions;

"workman” means any person who has entered into or works under a contract with, an employer in any capacity, whether the contract is express or implied, oral or in writing, and whether it is a contract of service or of apprenticeship, or a contract personally to execute any work or labour and includes any person ordinarily employed under any such contract, whether such person is or is not in employment at any particular time.

PART II

APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR
AND OTHER OFFICERS

3. Appointment of Registrar.

There may be appointed a Registrar of Trade Unions who shall be responsible for the due performance of the duties and functions assigned to him as Registrar under this Ordinance.

4. Appointment of Assistant Registrars and other officers.

There may be appointed one or more Assistant Registrars of Trade Unions and such other officers as may from time to time be required for the purposes of this Ordinance.

5. All officers deemed to be public officers.

All officers appointed under sections 3 and 4 of this Ordinance shall be deemed to be public officers within the meaning of the Penal Code.

6. Protection of public officers.

No suit shall lie against any public officer acting under this Ordinance for anything done or omitted to be done by him in good faith.

PART III

REGISTRATION

7. Register of trade unions.

(1) The Registrar shall keep and maintain in such form as may be prescribed, a register of trade unions in which shall be registered the prescribed particulars relating to any registered trade union and any alteration or change, which may from time to time be effected in the name, rules, officers or executive thereof or in the situation of the registered office thereof, and all such other matters as may be required to be registered therein under this Ordinance.

(2) A certified copy of any entry in the register shall be conclusive proof of the facts specified therein as on the date of such certified copy.

8. Necessity for registration.

(1) Every trade union established before the date of the commencement of this Ordinance shall apply to be registered under this Ordinance within a period of three months reckoned from that date.

(2) Every trade union established after the commencement of this Ordinance shall apply to be registered under this Ordinance within a period of three months reckoned from the date on which it was so established.

(3) The Registrar may, if he thinks fit, from time to time grant an extension of the periods respectively specified in subsections (1) and (2):

Provided that neither of such periods shall, in any particular case, be so extended as to exceed a period of six months in the aggregate.

(4) For the purposes of this Ordinance, a trade union is established on the first date on which any workmen or employers agree to become or to create an association or combination for the furtherance of any one or more of the objects specified in the definition of a trade union in section 2.

(5) For the purpose of prosecuting any trade union which fails to apply for registration in accordance with the provisions of this section, the date of establishment of that trade union shall, in the absence of proof of the date referred to in subsection (4), be deemed to be—

(a) the date on which any person is proved to have been accepted or admitted as a member of that trade union; or

(b) the date on which any act is proved to have been done by that trade union in furtherance of any one or more of the objects specified in the definition of a trade union in section 2;

and, in a case where proof is available of both the dates referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b), the earlier of such dates shall be deemed so to be the date of the establishment of that trade union.

9. Application for registration.

(1) Every application for registration of a trade union shall be made to the Registrar in the prescribed form and shall be signed by at least seven members of the union, any of whom may be officers thereof.

(2) Uncancelled stamps to the value of one rupee shall be affixed to every such application which shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the trade union and a statement of the following particulars, namely—

(a) the names, occupations and addresses of the members making the application;

(b) the name of the trade union and the address of its head office;

(c) the titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of the officers of the trade union.

(3) A trade union established before the commencement of this Ordinance shall deliver to the Registrar, together with its application for registration, a general statement of the assets and liabilities of the trade union prepared in such form and containing such particulars as may be prescribed.

10. Registration.

The Registrar, if he is satisfied that a trade union applying for registration has complied with the provisions of this Ordinance and of the regulations made thereunder and that the objects, rules and constitution of the union do not conflict with any of such provisions and are not unlawful, shall register the trade union in the prescribed manner:

Provided that if any one of the objects of such trade union is unlawful, the registration of the trade union shall be void.

11. Certificate of registration.

The Registrar, on registering a trade union under section 10, shall issue to the trade union a certificate of registration in the prescribed form and that certificate, unless proved to have been cancelled or withdrawn, shall be conclusive evidence for all purposes that the trade union has been duly registered under this Ordinance.

12. Power of Registrar to call for further information.

The Registrar may call for further information for the purpose of satisfying himself that any application complies with the provisions of section 9 or that the trade union is entitled to registration under this Ordinance.

13. Power of Registrar to require alteration of the name.

If the name under which a trade union is proposed to be registered is identical with that by which any other existing trade union has been registered or, in the opinion of the Registrar, so nearly resembles such name as to be likely to deceive or mislead the public or the members of either trade union, the Registrar shall require the persons applying for registration to alter the name of the trade union stated in the application, and shall refuse to register the trade union until such alteration has been made.

14. Refusal of registration.

The Registrar may refuse to register any trade union if he is not satisfied that the trade union has complied with the provisions of this Ordinance or of any regulations made thereunder, or if he is of opinion that any one of the objects or rules, or the constitution of the union is unlawful or conflicts with any such provision.

15. Withdrawal or cancellation of registration.

(1) A certificate of registration of a trade union may be withdrawn or cancelled by the Registrar—

(a) at the request of the trade union upon its dissolution to be verified in such manner as the Registrar may require;

(b) if he is satisfied—

(i) that the certificate of registration was obtained by fraud or mistake;

(ii) that any one of the objects or rules of the trade union is unlawful;

(iii) that the constitution of the trade union or of its executive is unlawful;

(iv) that the trade union has willfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision of this Ordinance or allowed any rule to continue in force which is inconsistent with any such provision, or has rescinded any rule providing for any matter, for which provision is required by section 38;

(v) that the funds of the trade union are expended in an unlawful manner or on an unlawful object or on an object not authorised by the rules of the union;

(vi) that the trade union has ceased to exist.

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FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


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SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


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IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


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