ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Trade Unions and Politics

MUCH of the controversy over the political involvement of trade unions in India involves a problem in semantics. Those who blame unions for their relations with politics have in mind the commitment which many unions and union leaders have to particular political parties. Nor can it be seriously denied that this party commitment is at the root of the bitter mutual rivalries which characterise the trade union scene in our country and which sap the strength and effectiveness of the unions. The question which Karnik mainly discusses in his series of five lectures delivered at the Bombay Labour Institute under the Anandrao Kulkarni Endowment, which have now been brought out as a book by the University of Bombay, is, however, not the unions' political involvement in the above sense. His main concern seems to be to show that trade unions all over the world and at all times are intimately involved in politics in the sense that they have to try to exert influence on Government policies in order, first, to gain the rights of organisation, then to secure favourable labour legislation, shorter hours of work, safety, welfare, social security and so on and, finally, to gain satisfactory status and greater voice in the affairs of society in the broadest sense, Karnik has been a leading trade unionist from times going back to the early years of the movement in India. He has been active in politics. He is known as a keen student and extensive writer on trade union and other affairs. As an elder statesman of the movement, he has kept in close touch with it and watched its course critically during the past few years. As is to be expected from one of such credentials, Karnik brings to his exposition a depth and insight that is frequently lacking in other writers on this subject.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top