ISSN 2330-717X

Is Strike The Be All And End All Of Trade Union Movement In India? – OpEd


The constituents of united platform of trade unions namely  AITUC ,  HMS,  CITU,  AIUTUC,   SEWA,  AICCTU,  LPF,  UTUC and a few others  have decided to go on All India strike on January 8, 2020 against the decision of Government of India to prepare labour code and a few other issues. The unions have said that the strike would take place in a massive way with the active support of the various sections of working class. However, another trade union namely BMS has said that it would not be participating in the All India strike, as the motive of the strike is political.


This strike would be one more of the several number of All India strikes that have taken place in the past few years on regular basis. These strikes have caused near paralysis of public life and government functioning and loss of several crores of rupees to the country in several ways.

The trade unions  do not seem to be concerned about the national loss and sufferings of the common man because of these frequent strike. It appears that the striking has become a habit for trade unions in India and they seem to think that striking is the be all and end  all trade union movement .

Strikes are organized so frequently that the public have taken strike calls as matter of routine and do not even care to know the reasons for the strike. Even several striking employees do not understand the cause for the strike, as they are not consulted by the trade union leadership  and their views are not considered. Members of the trade unions simply follow the dictates of the leadership and abstain from work.  Many of them  relax in their  homes or attend their personal work or go on holidays in these strike days.

Indian trade unions do not have the  practice of knowing the views of members of unions before going on strike by conducting secret ballot.

It is unfortunate that the trade union activity in India has become  political activity, as most of the trade unions are now under the vice like grip of political parties. Political parties use the trade unions for  meeting their political ends. It is sad that trade unions  have lost the sense of direction and now have become hand maids of politicians.


N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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