Trade Union Movement in India

4. Trade Union’s Unity Period ( 1936-1938)

This is the period of unity of the labour movement and evolution of rapid revolutionary procedures. With the new Constitution of India in 1935, different unions united with the efforts of Trade Union Unity Committee in 1938. Labour unions increased from 101 in 1935 to 169 and more strikes occurred during this period.

5. Second World War Period (1939-1947)

Trade unions became very strong during this period. War time price rise led to awakening among workers. The development of collective bargaining capacity and arbitration policy led to the growth of unions at a rapid pace and their number of member grew. The Government and employers were co-operative with the union. Even then, trade unions had less unity. There were differences of opinion about joining the War with Britain. Extremists dissociated from the AITUC and established Indian Federation of Labour (IFL). In 1942, Quit India Movement was started. The AITUC came under the leadership of communists. During this period, the Industrial Relations Act, 1946 was passed and Industrial Disputes Bill was proposed.

6. The Post-Independence Period ( 1947-2000)

After Independence Trade Union Movement have many important changes. In 1947, Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) established Indian Indian Trade Union Congress (INTUC). In 1948, Praja Socialist Party established Hind Mazdoor Panchayat (HMP) which during 1948 joined Indian Federation of Labour and it was renamed as Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS). In 1949, United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) was established. The Government recognized these four central organizations viz. INTUC, AITUC, HMS and UTUC for the purpose of representations at national and international levels. Besides these four, some other federations had also come into existence since the fifties. With the emergence of Jan Sangh, the All India Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh was formed in the year 1955. The Samajwadi Socialist Party (SSP) formed Hind Mazdoor Panchayat in 1965. The Marxist Communist formed the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) in 1970. A further split occurred in 1970-72 when United Trade Union Congress- Lelin Sarani was formed as a result of bifurcation of United Trade Union Congress. It is worth noting that the unity move among the federations of employee unions started after 1970. In 1972, three central unions INTUC, AITUC and HMS, together held a meeting in New Delhi and agreed to form a National Council of Central Trade Unions (NCCTU), with the objective of promoting understanding, co-operation and coordination in the  activities of central trade unions so as to advance the interests of the working people, to defend the interest of workers as well as of the trade union movement, and also to contribute towards the development of the national economy on a democratic, self-reliant and non-monopolistic basis. It was also thought of that such a unity move would also help in overcoming inter-union rivalries and bringing about trade union unity for common objectives and action. Unfortunately, NCCTU organization did not prove a success and came to its early end.

Trade Union Movement in India

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