Challenges before trade union movement highlighted

  • By Hindu
  • | Wednesday | 14th February, 2018

One of the great challenges before the trade union movement today is to understand the significance of women workers and fighting for their rights in the socio-economic front, said Amarjeet Kaur, the first woman general secretary of a Central Trade Union in India. “Today, the trade union movement in the country has engaged with large sections of the unorganised workers, including sizeable number of women. She said the challenges for the trade unions was not only to fight for economic demands, but also to engage with communities on these basic issues. She was recently elected as national general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC). This demands greater responsibility and dedication in educating and organising the women workers,” she said.


One of the great challenges before the trade union movement today is to understand the significance of women workers and fighting for their rights in the socio-economic front, said Amarjeet Kaur, the first woman general secretary of a Central Trade Union in India.

She was recently elected as national general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

Ms. Kaur, who was in Bengaluru, cited plight of millions of women employed in anganwadi, construction and midday meal scheme, in defence of her argument. “Today, the trade union movement in the country has engaged with large sections of the unorganised workers, including sizeable number of women. In fact, there is feminisation of employment in quite a few of these sectors. This demands greater responsibility and dedication in educating and organising the women workers,” she said.

Terming the economic situation in the country as “alarming” and noting that more than 10 lakh youth were entering the labour market every month, she said that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had created only five lakh jobs in the eight labour intensive industries in the past three years, as against the promise of creating two crore employment every year. “Today, more than 60% of the population is under the age of 35 years and experts call this phenomenon as demographic dividend. If the government fails to create employment, it will turn in demographic disaster,” she explained.

Stating that the working class was faced with attacks on several fronts, she blamed demonetisation and hasty GST implementation for that. “Jan Sangh had aggressively opposed the nationalisation of industries, insurance and banking sector, during 60s and 70s. But today, BJP is aggressively pushing for the privatisation of those organisations and other Public Sector Units,” she said.

Taking a dig at BJP-led State governments for bringing in retrograde amendments to laws in terms of allowing companies to fire workers freely, she said: “Even the registration of trade union is being actively discouraged in States including Rajastan and Haryana at the behest of employers.”

When asked about the future of trade union movement under the circumstances, Ms. Kaur said the Union government was undermining democratic institutions, scientific temper and rational thinking to introduce obscurantist ideas.

She said the challenges for the trade unions was not only to fight for economic demands, but also to engage with communities on these basic issues. “AITUC and other central trade unions have carried out two national general strikes during the term of the Modi government in support of wages, employment and social security,” she said. Stay updated with all the Bangalore Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

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