Trade unions or employee associations are associations of employees of a particular trade. These are organizations with a democratically elected management committee that represents all employees in negotiations with employers and help employees as well as employers to maintain a balanced relationship between them. The unions have gained ground due to the rapid industrial development. The workers around the world have come together to create employee associations in their respective organizations that would give them a proper ground to fight for better wages and working conditions.
The History of Trade Unions in India:
The industrial workforce in India began in the second half of the Nineteenth century after multiple clothing and textile mills were established in the port cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Bombay Mill-Hands Association, founded by the father of the Indian Trade Union Movement, N.M. Lokhande in 1890 is presumably the first Indian workers association. The first registered and organized Trade Union in India is considered to be the Madras Labour Union in 1918, founded by B.P. Wadia.
Union Election and its Problems:
Every five years, Trade unions hold elections by ballots to fill certain governing positions. Following the respective rules, any member of the union can stand for any respective statutory position, depending on his eligibility. The trade union elections are generally held by booth-based paper ballot and/or postal ballot. In the case of postal ballots, the trade union sends the voting papers inside a pre-paid envelope to the voters in their respective homes together with small statements written by the candidates. The voters send back the papers to an unbiased independent person, appointed by the trade union, who would count the votes accurately.
The major problem faced by the employee association is the amount of corruption that happens around these elections. As the entire process is time-consuming and human-dependent, it’s quite easy to plant the seeds of corruption inside without getting caught or noticed. Apart from that, the paper-ballot voting is extremely expensive, as reams of paper need to be printed and send to the respective voters. It not only costs a lot of money but also takes a lot of time to conclude the entire process. As the entire process is human-dependent, small human errors are inevitable too.
How Technology Can Solve These Problems?
Trade unions hold multiple elections based on the structure and size of the organizations. The process can get really complicated due to the involvement of a large number of people in various groups. Implementing online voting technology can reduce the complexity and help manage the entire process with ease.
Less Time Taking:
Online Voting websites like Right2Vote, don’t require human intervention, and that results in more accurate results and less time-consuming elections. Ballot voting in trade union elections requires a lot of time to print papers, sending of them to the voters, and counting of votes. The fully digitalized online process makes it easy for the voters as well as the employers to conclude the entire process much quicker and more efficiently.
More Private and Secured Voting:
The privacy of a voter can sometimes be compromised in ballot voting, as the entire process is human-dependent. Online voting through smart devices can dismiss the chances of outside influence, making the process more secure and transparent for the voters. This fully automated system assures the voter that the vote details remain only with the voter and guarantees accurate results in the election.
The cost behind postal services and printing lacs of papers are reduced as voters will only need to use a smartphone or a device connected to the internet to cast their votes. The cost behind appointing people who were needed earlier to do certain works can also be reduced. The process excludes the involvement of a third person who used to count votes and it not only cut down the cost but also makes the process smoother.
Maximizing Participation of the Voters:
Online voting apps such as Right2Vote can ensure more involvement, as voters living at a certain distance can always use a smart device to cast their votes. Using an online voting system, a lot of voters who couldn’t cast their votes previously can easily use this technology to cast their respective votes. The process is easier and definitely a better way to cast votes in complete secrecy.