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History and Development of Trade Union in India

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

History and Development of Trade Union in India

History of Trade Union in India The trade union of India was historically developed from the trade union movement of India. Trade union movement in ourcountry has a century-long history. In the 20th , soon after the World War I, working class in our country realised the effectiveness of labour strike as a means of obtaining concessions,higher wages, and better working conditions. Many strikes were declared consequently and most of them were successful. This success led to the formation of several unions.

The AITUC was set up in 1920(All India Trade Union Federation)A landmark in the history of labour movement was the enactment of the Trade Unions Act 1926.

After World War II

The unity was shattered during the World War II because of ideological differences and the mounting cost of living. Industrial unrest increased and the Govt, banned strikes and lockouts invoking the Defence of India Rules. The aftermath of independence was not good forunions. The hopes of workers to secure better INTUC in 1947,the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) in 1948,and the United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) in 1949.

Development of Trade Union in India

Trade unions are formed and develop ed on different criteria. Some of the criteria are: (1) Craft basis,

(2) Industrial Unions,

(3) General grouping based on place and

(4) Federations.

1. CRAFT UNIONS (CRAFT-CONSCIOUS RATHER THAN CLASS CONSCIOUS) In this organization, the labour class is grouped based on particular trade or occupation. This category is mainly amongst the white collared employees. The bank employees’ union, doctors’ union, lawyers’ association, teachers’ association come under this category.

2. Industrial Unions A particular category of industry will have their own unions. All crafts and trades coming under that industry are part of the union.Textile mill unions, Steel Industry Unions,Mill Mazdoor Sangh, Grini Kamgar Union’s are some of the examples of industrial unions in India..

3. General Union (conglomerate group) This is a conglomerate group of different industry employees forming a union. This happens normally in industrial towns,ancillary units, and SSI units in a city or suburb. Examples are Peenya Industrial Workers’ Union,Thane Industry employees’ unionsand Jamshedpur labour union.

4. Federations These are apex bodies at national level. All trade unions like craft union, industrial unions and general unionbecome members of federations to have a bigger identity. Central trade unions as federationshelp smaller unionsand support at thenational level to address their cause

History and Development of Trade Union in India


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