TRADE UNIONS ACT CAP. 437 L.F.N. 1990 ACT CAP. T14 L.F.N. 2004
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I — TRADE UNIONS
Registration of trade combinations as Trade Unions
1 Meaning of “trade unions” in this Act.
2 Unregistered trade prohibited from functioning.
3 Application for registration of trade union.
4 Matters to be provided for in registration rules.
5 Procedure on receipt of application for registration.
6 Restriction as regards names of trade unions
7 Cancellation of registration.
8 Proceedings on appeal against refusal or cancellation of registration.
9 Compulsory dissolution of trade union in certain circumstances.
10 Voluntary dissolution of trade union.
General provisions affecting trade unions
11 Members of armed forces, police, etc. prohibited from forming or joining trade union.
12 Membership of trade union not to be restricted on discriminatory grounds.
13 Person convicted of certain offences disqualified from holding office in a trade union.
14 Restriction on the number of trade unions of which a person may be an official.
15 Trade union dues not to be applied for political purposes.
16 Trade union funds not to be used for certain proceedings
17 .deduction from wages of union members
18 Payment of trade union dues to the Central Labour Organisation.
19 Injunction to restrain misapplication of funds of trade union.
20 Membership of persons under twenty-one years of age.
21 Registered office of trade union.
22 Copies of rules to be sold on demand.
Benefits of registration
23 Trade unions not unlawful as such.
24 Prohibitions of act in tort against trade unions.
25 Recognition of registered trade union obligatory.
26 Right of member to nominate recipient of sums of payable on de
Change of name, amalgamation, and alteration of rules of trade unions
27 Change of name of trade union.
28 Amalgamation of trade union.
29 Alteration of trade union.
PART II — FEDERATIONS OF TRADE UNIONS
30 Formation of federation of trade unions.
31 Admission of further trade unions to membership of registered federation.
32 Application of certain provisions of Part 1 to federations of trade unions at a time.
33 No person to hold office in more than one federation of trades unions at the same time.
PART III — CENTRAL LABOUR ORGANISATION
34 Formation of Central Labour Organisation.
35 Powers of Central Labour Organisation and application of certain provisions of Part 1.
36 Admission of further bodies to membership of Central Labour Organisation.
PART IV — ACCOUNTS AND RETURNS OF REGISTERD BODIES
37 Annual returns.
38 Duty of treasurer and other officials to render accounts.
39 Copies of audited accounts to be sent to the registrar.
40 Power of registrar to call for account at any time.
41 Investigation of unsatisfactory accounts by registrar.
42 Power of registrar to institute proceedings on behalf of registered body in certain circumstances.
PART V — MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL PROVISIONS
43 Peaceful picketing.
44 Certain acts not actionable in tort if in contemplation or furtherance of trade dispute.
45 Companies and Allied Matters Act not to apply to bodies registerable under this Act.
46 The Registrar of Trade Unions.
47 Certain matters to be notified in Gazette.
48 Penalty for issuing false copies of rules of registered body.
49 Penalty for including false information in any document sent to Registrar.
50 General penalty for offences against this Act.
52 validity of act not to be enquired into
55 Repeals and transitional provisions.
56 Short title.
MATTERS TO BE PROVIDED FOR IN RULES OF TRADE UNIONS
LIST OF REGISTERED AND RECOGNISED TRADE UNIONS
TRADE UNIONS ACT
1973 No. 31.
An Act to make Provisions with respect to the formation, registration and organization of trade unions, federations of trade unions and the Central Labour Organization.
L.N. 62 of 1973
PART I — TRADE UNIONS
Registration of trade combinations as Trade Unions
1. Meaning of “trade union” in this Act.
(1) In this Act-
“trade unions” means any combination of workers or employers, whether temporary or permanent, the purpose of which is to regulate the terms and combination in question would or would not, apart from this Act, be an unlawful combination by reason of any of its purposes begin in restraint of trade, and whether its purposes do or do not include the provision of benefit for its members.
(2) The fact that a combination of workers or employers has purposes or powers other than the purpose of regulating the terms and conditions of employment of workers shall not prevent it from being registered under this Act; and accordingly, subject to the provisions of this Act as to the application of funds for political purposes, a trade union may apply its funds for any lawful purpose for the time being authorised by its rules. Including in particular, if so authorised, that of providing benefits for its members.
(3) A trade union within the meaning of this Act shall not be treated as having been formed by reason only of-
(a) any agreement between an employer and a person employed by him as to the terms and constitutions of that employment; or
(b) any agreement for the instruction of any person in a profession, trade or handicraft, or
(c) any agreement between partners as to their own business or any trading agreement between employers; or
(d) any agreement imposing restrictions in connection with the sale of the goodwill of a business.
2. Unregistered trade union prohibited from functioning.
(1) A trade union shall not perform any act in furtherance of the purposes for which it has been formed unless it has been registered under this Act:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall prevent a trade union from taking any steps (including the collection of subscriptions or dues) which may be necessary for the purpose of getting the union registered.
(2) Where a trade union registered under this Act ceases to be so registered, it shall not thereafter perform any act in furtherance of its purpose:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall prevent a trade union from taking any steps which may be necessary for the purpose of dissolving the union.
(3) If any act which is prohibited by subsection (1) or (2) of this section, is performed by a trade union, then-
(a) the union and every official thereof; and
(b) any member thereof who, not being an official thereof, took any active part in the performance of that act, shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
3. Application for registration of trade union
(1) An application for the registration of a trade union shall be made to the Registrar in the prescribed from and shall be signed-
(a) in the case of a trade union of workers, by at least fifty members of the union; and
(b) in the case of a trade union of employers, by at least two members of the union. 1978 No. 22.,
(2) No combination of workers or employers shall be registered as a trade union save with the approval of the Minister on his being satisfied that it is expedient to register the union either by regrouping existing trade unions, registering a new trade union or otherwise howsoever ever, but no trade union shall be registered to represent workers or employers in a place where already exists a trade union.
(3) No staff recognised as a projection of management within the management structure of any organisation shall be a member of or hold office in a trade union (whether or not the member of that trade union are workers of a rank junior, equal or higher than his own) if such membership or of the holding of such office in the trade union will lead to a conflict of his loyalties to either the union or to the management. 1979 No. 86.,
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) of this section, a person may be recognised as a projection of management within a management structure if his status, authority, powers duties and accountability which are reflected in his conditions of service are such as normally inhere in a person exercising executive authority (whether or not delegated) within the organisation concerned.
(5) Every application must pursuant to subsection (1) above shall state the name under which it is proposed that the trade union to which it relates shall be registered and the address of the office which, if the union is registered, is to be the registered office. 1978 No. 22.
(6) Every such application shall be accompanied by two copies of the union, and by a list showing-
(a) the name, address, age and occupation of each of the persons by whom the application is signed; and
(b) the official title, name, address., age, and occupation of each official of the union;
4. Matters to be provided for in registered rules.
(1) Every trade union must have registered rules, which must contain provisions with respect to the various matters mentioned in the First Schedule of this Act.
(2) Accordingly, the Registrar-
(a) shall not register a trade union unless it has rules which contain such provisions as aforesaid; and
(b) if he registered a trade union, shall at the time register its rules.
5. Procedure on receipt of application for registration.
(1) Where an application for the registration of a trade union is received by the Registrar, the following provisions of this section shall apply:
Provided that if the application appears to the Registrar to be defective in any respect, he shall notify the applicant accordingly and shall take no further action in relation thereto until the application has been amended to his satisfaction or a fresh application is made in place thereof.
(2) The Registrar shall cause a notice of the application to be published in the Federal Gazette, starting the objection to the registration of the trade union in question may be submitted to him in writing during the period of three months beginning with the date of the Gazette in which the notice is published.
(3) Within three months after the end of the said period of three months the Registrar shall consider any objections submitted to him during that period and, if satisfied-
(a) that no proper objection has been raised;
(b) that none of the purposes of the trade unions is unlawful; and
(c) that the requirements of this Act and of the Regulations with respect to the registration of trade unions have been complied with,
shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section, and to section 6 of this Act, register the trade union and its rules.
(4) The Registrar shall not register the trade union it appears to him that any existing trade union is sufficiently representative of the interests of the class of persons whose interest the union is intended to represent.
(5) If the Registrar refuses to register the union-
(a) he shall forthwith end to the applicants a notice in the prescribed form to that effect, stating the grounds of refusal and specifying the date from which the time for appealing against the refusal is to run, and shall publish a notice to the like effect in the Federal Gazette; and 1999 No.1
(b) any official or member of the union may, within the period of thirty days beginning with the date so specified, appeal to the appropriate court against the refusal.
(6) The Registrar or registering a trade union shall issue a certificate of registration which, unless it is proved that the registration of the union has been cancelled, shall (except in any proceedings for the cancellation of the registration of the union on the ground that its registration was obtained by fraud or as the result of a mistake) be conclusive evidence that the requirements of this Act and Regulations with respect to the registration of trade union have been complied with, and that the trade union is authorised to be registered and is a trade union for the purposes of this Act. 1999 No.1
(7) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, the Registrar, shall on the coming into effect of this section of this Act, register the trade unions specified in Part A and Part C of the Third Schedule to this Act; and on such registration the said trade unions shall have all the powers and duties of a trade union registered under this Act.
6. Registrations as regards names of trade unions.
(1) A trade unions shall not be registered under a name identical with that of any existing trade union or so nearly resembling the name of any existing trade union as to be likely to deceive the members or the public.
(2) A trade union shall not be registered under a name containing any words which, in the opinion of the Registrar, are deceptive or objectionable in that they contain a reference (direct or indirect) to any personage, practice or institution, or are otherwise unsuitable as name for a trade union.
(3) If the Registrar refuses to register a trade union on the ground that the name under which it desires to be registered is, by virtue of subsection (2) of this section, not one under which it should be registered, any official or member of the union may require the matter to be referred to the Minister; and the decision of the Minister on such a reference shall be final.
((4) Where on a reference under subsection (3) of this section, the Minister decides that a particular trade union may be registered under a certain name, the union may be registered under that name notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section.
(5) The foregoing provisions of this section shall, with the necessary modifications, apply in relation to -
(a) any proposed alteration of the name of the trade union; and
(b) any proposal to form a new trade union by the amalgamation of two or more existing trade unions,
as they apply in relation to the original registration of a trade union.
7. Cancellation of registration 1978 No. 22.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section and of section 10(2) of this Act, the Registrar shall cancel the registration of a trade union if it is proved to his satisfaction-
(a) that the registration of the union was obtained by fraud or as the result of a mistake; or
(b) that any of the purposes of the union is unlawful; or
(c) that after receipt of a warning in writing from the Registrar, the union has deliberately contravened or continued to contravene any provision of this Act or the Regulations; or
(d) the principal purpose for which the union is in practice being carried on is a purpose other than that of regulating the terms and conditions of employment of workers; or
(e) the union thought still in existence, has ceased to function; or
(f) the union has ceased to exist.
(2) Where the Registrar proposes to cancel the registration of a trade union under subsection (1) of this section, he shall send to the trade union at its registered office a notice in the prescribed form-
(a) stating that he proposes to cancel the registration of the union, and specifying briefly the ground or rounds on which he proposes to do so;
(b) specifying a date not less than two months after the date of the notice and stating that unless before that date he is satisfied that the registration ought not to be cancelled, he will proceed to cancel the registration on the expiration of the period of thirty days beginning with that date unless an appeal against the proposed cancellation is brought Within that period.
(3) Where -
(a) the registrar has sent a notice under subsection (2) of this section to a trade union; and
(b) the trade union is still in existence on the date specified in the notice; and
(c) the Registrar has not withdrawn the notice before that date,
any official or member of the trade union may, within the period of thirty days beginning with that date appeal to the appropriate court against the proposed cancellation.
(4) The Registrar shall not cancel the registration of a trade union under this section before the expiration of the period of thirty days beginning with the date specified in the notice under subsection (2) of this section; and if an appeal against the proposed cancellation is brought during that period, he shall bot cancel the registration unless the appeal is abandoned or the proposed cancellation is confirmed on the final determination of the appeal.
(5) A trade union whose registration is cancelled under this section shall, as from the date of the cancellation, cease to enjoy the privileges conferred by this Act on trade unions; but any liability incurred by the union before that date shall not be affected by the cancellation and may be enforced against the union on or after that date as if the cancellation has not taken place.
(6) On cancelling the registration of a trade union under this section, the Registrar shall sent to the address at which, immediately before the cancellation, the registered office of the union was situated, a notice in the prescribed form stating the date on which the registration was cancelled and the grounds for the cancellation, and shall also cause a notice to the like effect to be published in the Federal Gazette; and the original certificate of registration of the union shall be delivered to the Registrar not more than thirty days after the date of the cancellation.
(7) If a certificate which is required by subsection-(6) of this to be delivered to the Registrar is not delivered to the Registrar within the time of prescribed by that subsection, every person who on the date of the cancellation was an official or member of the union shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
(8) The foregoing provisions of this section shall, with the necessary modifications, apply in relation to the registration of federations of trade unions and the Central Labour Organisation as they apply in relation to trade unions.
(9) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this section, the Minister may due to overriding public interest, revoke the certificate of registration of any trade union specified in Part A of the Third Schedule to this Act.
8. Proceedings on appeal against refusal or cancellation of registration.
(1) On an appeal under section 5(5) or 7(3) of this Act the appropriate court in question may make such order as it thinks proper; and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, in any proceedings on such an appeal-
(a) the court shall have all the powers vested by this Act in the Registrar, and may any order which might or ought to have been made by the Registrar; and
(b) the costs of and incident thereto, including the costs of and incident to any proceedings before the Registrar, shall be in the discretion of the court.
9. Compulsory dissolution of trade union in certain circumstances
(a) an application for the registration of a trade union is finally refused; or
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