Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Some employers, including at least one important State railway, have collected subscriptions for trade unions. This has usually been done by deducting the union subscription from the workers' pay and handing the accumulated amounts over to the union officials month by month. The result has been to give the unions concerned an income far exceeding that which they would have obtained in the ordinary way. In view of the acute difficulties which most unions experience in raising funds and the benefits that could be secured by many if their finances were more flourishing, we have considered the possibility of recommending to employers a general adoption of this practice. On a detailed examination of the question, however, we consider that the disadvantages distinctly outweigh the advantages. Quite apart from the fact that the practice makes a trade union subscription a first charge upon a man's wages and may lead, with illiterate and ignorant workers, to the commencement or continuance of deductions without their full consent, the procedure is bound to undermine the independence of the union. No employer can surrender his right to discontinue the practice at any time. Its continuance, therefore, is conditional upon the union taking no steps which would lead an employer to reverse his policy, and once the practice had been established of collecting subscriptions in this manner, the employer would be able at any time to dislocate the activities of the union by withdrawing his assistance. Further, the vigour of the trade union officials would be constantly sapped by the knowledge that their income and the means for their activities were dependent on the employers' goodwill.