Indian Trade Unions
In India the Trade Union movement is generally divided on political lines. According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, trade unions had a combined membership of 24,601,589 in 2002. As of 2008, there are 11 Central Trade Union Organizations (CTUO) recognized by the Ministry of Labour These are different recognized Central Trade organizations
All India Central Council of Trade Unions
All India Central Council of Trade Unions, a central trade union federation in India. AICCTU is politically attached to Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation. According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, AICCTU had a membership of 639,962 in 2002.
The affiliated unions of All India Central Council of Trade Unions are
* All India Agrarian Labourers Association * All India Construction Workers Federation * Bengal Chatkal Mazdoor Federation is a trade union of jute mill workers in West Bengal, India. The union is affiliated to the All India Central Council of Trade Unions. * Bunkar Mahasabha is a trade union of weavers in Varanasi, India. Bunkar Mahasabha was formed in 2001 * Rajasthan Nirman Mazdoor Sangathan (Rajasthan Construction Workers Organization) is a trade union of construction workers in Rajasthan, India. RNMS is affiliated to All India Central Council of Trade Unions. The President of RNMS is Shrilata Swaminathan.
* The Tamil Nadu Democratic Construction Labour Union is a trade union of construction workers in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. TNDCLU is affiliated with the All India Central Council of Trade Unions. TNDCLU hopes to increase its membership to 15,000 during 2005. * Indo Japan Air Services Staff Union (IJASSU) is a registered staff union of Indo Japan Air Services Private Limited (a 100% subsidiary of Japan Airlines Company Limited) under the Indian Trade Unions Act 1926 having registration no. F-10/RTU/E/06/11. Indo Japan Air Services Staff Union is affiliated to All India Central Council of Trade Unions
* All India General Kamgar Union
* Building Workers Union
* DTC Unity Centre
* Mahila Kamgar Union
* Khet Mazdoor Sabha
All India Trade Union Congress
The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) is the oldest trade union federations in India and one of the five largest. According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, AITUC had a membership of 2,677,979 in 2002. It was founded on 31 October 1920 in Bombay by Lala Lajpat Rai and a few others and, until 1945 when unions became organised on party lines, it was the primary trade union organisation in India. Since then it has been associated with the Communist Party of India. AITUC is governed by a body headed by National President Ramedra Kumar and General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta, both the politician affiliated with Communist Party of India. AITUC is a founder member of the World Federation of Trade Unions. Today, its institutional records are part of the Archives at the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, at Teen Murti House, Delhi Following are the affiliated unions to the All India Trade Union Congress
* Andhra Pradesh Auto Rickshaw Drivers and Workers Federation,. a trade union of auto rickshaw drivers in Andhra Pradesh, India. APARDWF is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress * Andhra Pradesh Mica Mine Workers Union – A.P. Mica Mine Workers Union, a trade union of mica mine labourers in the Gudur minesfields in Andhra Pradesh, India. APMMU is affiliated to All India Trade Union Congress. APMMU claims a membership of 1200 out of a total of 7000 workers. Andhra Pradesh is one of the three leading areas where mica is mined in India. India produces roughly 62% of the world’s mica but in recent years other materials substituting mica in its main applications (such as electronics) have impacted the price and mining of mica in India. * Calcutta Hawkers’ Men Union is a trade union of hawkers in Kolkata. CHMU was founded in 1971. CHMU is affiliated to All India Trade Union Congress. Its membership is mainly based amongst food vendors.
* Federation of Chatkal Mazdoor Unions, a trade union of jute mill workers in West Bengal, India. The union is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress. The general secretary of FCMU is Debasish Dutta * Nikhila Orissa Beedi Shramika Federation (All Orissa Beedi Workers Federation), a trade union in Orissa, India, organizing women beedi workers. NOBSF is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress. * Patiala Aviation Club Workers Union, a trade union organizing workers at the Patiala Aviation Club in Patiala, Punjab, India. PACWU is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress. The president of PACWU is Balinder Kumar Sharma. In the period of 1999-2001 PAC workers were not paid salaries for over two years, something that was highlighted by the PACWU.
* Pondicherry Textile Labour Union, a trade union of textile workers in Puducherry, India. PTLU is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress. The secretary of PTLU is V.S. Abishegam. * Powerloom Workers Union, a trade union of powerloom workers in Andhra Pradesh, India. PWU is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress. The president of PWU is S. Mallesham. * Punjab Breweries Workers Union, a trade union of brewery workers in Punjab, India. PBWU is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress. The president of PBWU is gurbir singh and the general secretary Kishan Chand
* Vegetable Market Workers Union, a trade union in Andhra Pradesh, India. VMWU is affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress. The president of VMWU is Moulana. * Visakha Steel Workers Union, a trade union of steel workers at Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, in Visakhapatnam, India. VSWU is affiliated with the All India Trade Union Congress. In March 2008 VSWU, contesting union elections in coalition with the CITU-affiliated Steel Plant Employees Union, regained the union recognition at the plant. The AITUC-CITU front won 6,597 votes against 4,361 votes for the INTUC-affiliated Visakha Steel Employees’ Congress.
All India United Trade Union Centre
The All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), formerly known as United Trade Union Centre (Lanin Sarani) or UTUC-LS, is a Central Trade Union Organisation in India and the labour wing of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist). Presently its activities are spread over 19 states. The organisation claims to have 600 affiliated unions, comprising an individual membership of over two million. It is the 6th largest trade union in India. According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, UTUC-LS had a membership of 1,368,535 in 200 History
All India UTUC was founded at a conference held in Kolkata 26–27 April 1958, following a split in the United Trade Union Congress. Initially it used the name UTUC, but in the general media it was referred to as UTUC (Dharamtala Street) (where it had its offices) to distinguish it from the original UTUC. In 1969, at the initiative of Subodh Banerjee, West Bengal State Committee President of the organisation and PWD Minister in anti-Congress United Front Government in the state, the name of the street was changed to ‘Lenin Sarani’.
Thus the new name of the organisation became UTUC (Lenin Sarani). In the 17th UTUC(LS) conference held in Delhi in 1985 the organisation was renamed as ‘United Trade Union Centre (Lenin Sarani)’. In the 18th conference held in 1992 in Calcutta ‘Lenin Sarani’ was un-bracketed, implying that it no longer referred to the name of the street where the office is located but became an integral part of the name of the organisation which was thereafter known as ‘United Trade Union Centre-Lenin Sarani’ (UTUC-LS). The 19th all India conference of the organization held in Delhi on 27 March 2008 approved the change of name to All India United Trade Union Centre (All India UTUC)
The All India UTUC is functioning in both formal and informal sectors. In informal sector, the most important segment where it has been working from the very inception is agriculture. In the formal sectors All India UTUC has unions, federations and activities in basic, heavy and key industries and important service sectors like Iron and Steel, Engineering, Electricity, Coal and Non-Coal Mines, Railways, Port and Dock, Road-Transport, Banks and Financial Institutions, Insurance, Central and State Government Services. On the basis of its membership strength All India UTUC has been recognised as a Central Trade Union Organisation by the Government of India and has its representations in apex level tripartite committees as well as in International Labour Conferences (ILC) of the ILO.
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (Indian Workers’ Union) is the largest central trade union organization in India. It was founded by Dattopantji Thengdi on July 23, 1955, which also happens to the birthday of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The BMS itself claims to have over 8.3 million members. At present it is estimated around 5860 unions are affiliated to the BMS. According to provisional statistics from the Ministry of Labour, the BMS had a membership of 6,215,797 in 2002.It can also be noted that the BMS is not affiliated to any International Trade Union Confederation.
BMS was founded on 23 July 1955 – the day being the birth anniversary of Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak – veteran of Freedom Movement. Two important aspects stand out in connection with this: (a) Formation of BMS was not the result of split in the existing trade union organisations, unlike in the case of almost all other trade unions. Hence it had the formidable responsibility of building its organisational structure from the grass root level. It started from zero having no trade union, no membership, no activist (karyakarta), no office and no fund. (b) On the very first day it was visualised as a trade union whose base-sheet anchors – would be Nationalism, would work as a genuine trade union, keeping itself scrupulously away from party politics. This was also unlike other trade unions which were linked to one or the other political party, overtly or otherwise.
Aims and Objective
(a) To establish ultimately the Bharatiya order of society in which there shall be secured among other things: i. Complete utilisation of manpower and resources leading to full employment and maximum production. ii. Replacement of profit motive by service motive and establishment of economic democracy resulting in equitable distribution of wealth to the best advantage of all individual citizens and of the national as a whole. iii. Development of autonomous industrial communities forming part and parcel of the nation, culminating in ‘Labourisation of industry’ iv. Provision of work with living wage to every individual through maximum industrialisation of the nation. (b) With a view to enable the workers to strive successfully for the ultimate realisation of the above objects and to strengthen them, in the meanwhile, to make their own contribution to the cause of protecting and promoting their interest consistent with those of the community: v. To assist workers in organising themselves in trade unions as a medium of service to the motherland irrespective of faiths and political affinities.
vi. To guide, direct, supervise and coordinate the activities of the affiliated unions. vii. To assist the affiliated unions in the formation of state BMS units and Industrial Federations as constituent units of the BMS and viii. To bring about unity in the trade union movement. (c) To secure and preserve for the workers: ix. The right to work, the right for security of service and for social security, the right to conduct trade union activities and the right to strike as a last resort after having exhausted other legitimate methods of trade unionism for redressal of grievances. x. Improvement in conditions of work, life and social and industrial status. xi. A living wage consistent with a national minimum and due share in the profits in their respective industries as partners. xii. Other appropriate amenities
xiii. Expeditious enforcement and appropriate amendment of existing labour legislation in their interest and xiv. Enactment of new labour laws from time to time in consultation with the labour representatives. (d) To inculcate in the minds of the workers the spirit of service, cooperation and dutifulness and develop in them a sense of responsibility towards the nation in general and industry in particular (e) To educate the labour by organising worker’s training classes, study circles, guest lectures, seminars, symposia, excursions etc., in cooperation with institutions and organisations having similar aims and objects such as the Central Board of Workers Education. Labour Research Centre, Universities etc., and also to maintain libraries. (f) To publish or cause publication of journals, periodicals, pamphlets, pictures, books and many other types of literature mainly concerning labor and their interests and to purchase, sell & circulate them.
(g) To establish, encourage and organize Labor Research Centers and similar activities. (h) Generally to take such other steps as may be necessary to ameliorate the social, economic, cultural, civic and general conditions of the workers. For sound health of workers and society BMS has been against the use of any type of drugs, liquor, alcohol and smoking. (i) To render assistance or to establish cooperative societies, welfare institutions, clubs etc., for the overall welfare of the common man in general and the workers and their families in particular.
National Labour Day
India has a heritage of thousands of year where the dignity of labour as well as those of labourers was well established. The dire need of the hour is to re-establish the same – the Dignity of Labour by observing our own labour day. As also, most of the Nations have their National Labour Day. National Labour Day was rediscovered to be on Vishwakarma Jayanti, Vishwakarma, being the first craftsman – artisan, sculptor, and engineer – and in fact the traditional symbol of hard labour. This falls on Kanya Sankranti of each year. BMS, since its inception, has been observing Vishwakarma Jayanti – on 17 September of English Calendar Year as National Labour Day. While functioning since 1955 it has given to the labour movement new slogans benefiting its ideology:
* Bharat Mata Ki Jai
* We will work in the interest of the country and will take full wage for the work done (Desh ki hit me kam karenge, kam ki lenge poore dham) * The sacrifice, penance and martyrdom are identification of BMS (BMS ki kya pehchan, Tyag, Tapasya aur Balidan) * Understand the value of Capital and Labour is equal and same (Paise aur pasine ki kimmat samjo ek samaan). * Workers unite the world (Mazdooron duniya ko ek karo)
* Industrialise the nation, Nationalise the Labour, Labourise the Industry (Rashtra Udyogikaran, Sharamik ka Rashtriyakaran, Udyog ka Mazdoorikaran) * Bonus to all wage earners – as deferred wage (Sabi Vetanbogiyonko der se diya hua vetan ki roop me bonus) * Stop discrimination. Income-ratio should be one and ten. (Bed-bhav bandh karo. Aay ka anupath Ek aur Dus ho) New trends in the trade union movement
BMS has contributed quite a few new ideas which have virtually become trend setters. The non-political nature of BMS has now gained currency and has become acceptable not only in India but also abroad. The XII World Trade Union Congress of WFTU, held in Moscow, in 1990, adopted a document to this effect. BMS doesn’t believe in class concept and rejects the class theory propounded by Marx. Instead its struggle and fight is against the injustice on workers from whatever quarters. Being non-political, its attitude towards any democratically elected government is governed by the principle of “Responsive Co-operation”. BMS idea of “Labourisation” of Industries – a stage where workers would collectively own and manage the industrial units has initiated a national debate on it. This experiment has been successfully undertaken in New Central Jute Mills, West Bengal.
New Economic Policy (NEP) and New Industrial Policy (NIP)
While opposing the above policies BMS was first to give slogan for 2nd war of economic independence. At the same time it has suggested some positive alternatives. It has vigorously condemned the object surrender to the conditionality of the IMF and WB as that would amount to giving up our sovereignty. BMS considers the movement as an opportunity to build up Swadeshi Model of Economy. Hence it has inspired movement for the use of Swadeshi (Indigenous) Products as against the foreign or MNC products. It has offered to cooperate in turning the loss making PSUs profitable where practicable, it has agreed to induce the workers to take up their unit to run them on sound lines.
To curb excessive profiteering, which is the main culprit behind price rise; it has suggested that the Government should take steps to make the consumer aware of the cost of production of each product to daily use. This awareness will serve as a watch dog to restrain the prices. BMS is also of the view that for creating enough job opportunities, agricultural development should get more attention as also agro-based and small and tiny industries. Vishwakarma Sector (Self-employment sector) should get more encouragement than at present. On modern technology, BMS while not being antagonistic would prefer developing our own technology based on indigenous and traditional knowledge to best suit our conditions. From this angle national technology policy should be drawn.
Indian National Trade Union Congress
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) is the trade union wing of the Indian National Congress. It was founded May 3, 1947, and is affiliated with the International Trade Union Confederation Objectives of INTUC
To establish an order of society which is free from hindrance in the way on an all round development of its individual members, which fosters the growth of human personality in all its aspects and goes to the utmost limit in progressively eliminating social political or economic exploitation and inequality, the profit motive in the economic activity and organization of society and the anti-social concentration in any form. To place industry under national ownership and control in suitable form in order to realize the aforesaid objectives in the quickest time. * To organize society in such a manner as to ensure full employment and the best utilization of its manpower and other resources. * To secure increasing association of the worker in the administration of industry and their full participation in its control.
* To promote generally the social civic and political interest of the working class to secure an effective and complete organization of all categories of workers, including agricultural labour. * To guide and co-ordinate the activities of the affiliated organizations. * To assist and co-ordinate the activities of the affiliated organizations. * To assist in the formation of trade unions. * To promote the organization of workers of each industry on a nation-wide basis. * To assist in the formation of Regional or Pradesh Branches or Federations. * To secure speedy improvement of conditions of work and life and of the status of the workers in industry and society. * To obtain for the workers various measures of social security, including adequate provision in respect of accidents, maternity, sickness, old age and unemployment.
* To secure a living wage for every worker in normal employment and to bring about a progressive improvement in the workers standard of living. * To regulate hours and other conditions of work in keeping with the conditions of the workers and to ensure the proper enforcement of legislation for the protection and up-lift of labour. * To establish just industrial relations. * To secure redressal of grievances, without stoppages of work, by means of negotiations and conciliation and failing these by arbitration or adjudication.
* To take recourse to other legitimate method, including strikes or any suitable form of satyagraha, where adjudication is not applied and settlement of disputes within a reasonable time by arbitration is not available for the redress of grievances. * To make necessary arrangements for the efficient conduct satisfactory and speedy conclusion of authorized strikes or satyagraha. * To foster the spirit of solidarity, service, brotherhood co-operation and mutual help among the workers. * To develop in the workers a sense of responsibility towards the industry and community. * To raise the workers’ standard of efficiency and discipline.