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An Insight to the All India Trade Union Congress

All India Trade Union Congress is the second largest alliance of India. The largest was the Indian National Trade Union Congress. All India Trade Union Congress was formed in the year 1920 by the leaders of the Indian National Congress.

The purpose of forming the AITUC was to represent India at the League of Nations International Labor Organization. It is a central trade union that is an association of workers and is interested in their economic and social welfare. These rights and the interest of the labourers are brought in front of other associations by trade unions. All India Trade Union Congress is one such organisation. Let’s see how all India trade union congress works for workers.

All India Trade Union Congress

All India trade union congress is one of the most important developments for the workers, and it is one of the oldest trade unions. This union worked under the Indian National Congress till 1945, and after 1945, it got associated with the Communist Party of India.

The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) is India’s oldest trade union alliance and India’s primary trade union organisation working under the Indian National Congress. Since 1945 the All India National Trade Union Congress changed its political association from the Indian National Congress to the Communist Party of India. All India Trade Union Congress has played a significant role in the foundation of the World Federation of Trade Unions after the Second World War.

History of AITUC

All India Trade Union Congress got formed on 31st October 1920 in Bombay under the leadership of the Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai.

Unemployment has been a social issue in India for ages. During the British Era, workers were exploited, resulting in the death of many of them and bringing recession to the country. Unemployment kept on rising even then. From, 1905 there was a change in the scenario when the working-class striked in Bombay against the working hours extension.

After this event in 1905, another event that led to the AITUC formation was the strike by industrial workers. The strike took place from 24th July to 28th July 1908 in Bombay. The cause for such a strike was the pronouncement of judgement that sentenced Bal Gangadhar Tilak to six years’ imprisonment.

Later, during the First World War, the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, the Indian labour movement captured power for the first time. During this time, the strikes in India were at their peak to form AITUC. In 1918 the strike at a cotton factory in Bombay started, spreading to other areas.

In a convention on 16th July 1920, it was decided to hold the All India Trade Union Congress in Bombay.

Formation of AITUC (All India Trade Union Conference)

The founding conference of the first session of the All India Trade Union Conference began on 31st October 1920. This conference was held in the Empire Theatre Bombay with Lala Lajpat Rai as the founding president of the AITUC. Many other prominent personalities participated in the conference—in the second conference of the AITUC at Jharia, the resolution of Swaraj got adopted.

Key Players

Many leaders played a vital role in forming and ruling the All India Trade Union Congress. Following are the key players:

  • Joseph Baptista: He was the president of the Home Rule League in India. He played an influential role in forming the All India Trade Union Congress. He then served as the chairman of the original reception committee, which planned the first meeting of the congress.
  • N. M. Joshi: N. M. Joshi was the key leader of the All India Trade Union Congress. He played an essential role in organising the congress. He also held significant roles till the congress split due to the difference in ideologies in the late 1920s.
  • Lala Lajpat Rai (1865-1928): Lala Lajpat Rai, popularly known as the “Lion of the Punjab”. He was the first president of the All India Trade Union Congress.

    He was a Lawyer by his profession and also a leading nationalist. He was also an Indian National Congress member. In 1920 when he returned from his trips to various countries, he was shocked to see the British repression in India. After seeing all this, he joined the All India Trade Union Congress and served as its president.

Many other leaders actively participated in the formation of AITUC.

Conclusion

All India Trade Union Congress is among the largest trade unions. AITUC was formed under the leadership of the Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai. The purpose behind the formation of the AITUC was to represent India at the Labour League. But since then, it kept on bringing its motives.

One of the major motives of the AITUC was swaraj or complete Independence. Other than this, the other reason for forming the labour union was the concern of people connected to the labour. They felt a need for the central organisation of labour that coordinates with other trade unions.

The Indian National Congress initially founded all India Trade Union Congress, but later, AITUC came into the political association of the Communist Party of India.

FAQs on All India Trade Union Congress

What is the purpose of forming the All India Trade Union Congress?

The All India Trade Union Congress got formed to represent India at the International Labour Organisation of the League of Nations.

Who were the leaders behind the formation of AITUC?

The prominent leaders were: Joseph Baptista; N.M. Joshi, Lala Lajpat Rai and many more leaders actively formed the All India Trade Union Congress.

Who was the first president of AITUC?

Lala Lajpat Rai was the first president of the All India Trade Union Congress.

Who was the first vice-president of the AITUC?

Joseph Baptista was the first vice president of the All India Trade Union Congress.

About Author

Anshita Surana, born in the year 1999 in Guwahati, Assam and brought up in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan, where I completed my elementary and secondary education from the CBSE board.

Currently, Pursuing B.B.A.LL.B(H) from K. R. Mangalam University, Gurugram.