‘white coloured employees’.
after 1925 communist influence became strong. Two leading members,
Dhundiraj Thengdi and S.V. Ghate, both strongly oriented towards Moscow,
had emerged, while older leaders such as N.M. Joshi, Diwan Chaman Lall
and Y.Y. Giri established close links with the Trade Union Congress and the
Labour Party in UK, and other social democratic parties in Europe. In 1928
the Communists made a powerful bid to capture the AITUC. Their candidate
for presidentship, B.D. Kulkarni, however, lost narrowly to Jawaharlal
Nehru. This reverse notwithstanding, the Bombay textile strike of 1928
registered a great victory for the Communists and their Mumbai Girni Kargar
Thus, during this stage the influence of communist ideology was clearly
seen at work. Communists had begun to infiltrate into the trade unions as
early as 1925. Their infiltration had brought about a change in the pattern of
strikes. Harsh and impolite language, and brutal methods were quite
Trade unionism during this stage received a set back due to the
ideological conflicts among the trade unionists. Radical elements with an
intention to use the trade union movement to further their political motives
towed the line of the fraternal political body at Moscow. On the contrary, the
moderates in trade unions desired to keep the movement away from the
communists. Consequently the struggle to capture and strengthen their
respective positions in the AITUC began widening the gulf between the
Congress and the Communist followers.
The ideological differences led to the division of the AITUC in 1929
when the moderate faction left it and formed a new organisation, viz. Indian
Trades Union Federation (ITUF). A farther split occurred in the AITUC, and
a section under the influence of M. N. Roy formed the ‘Red Tuc’. All these
developments occurred when the country was under the impact of Great
depression and Civil Disobedience Movement.
One important achievement of the trade union movement during this
period was the enactment of the Trade Union Act in 1926. This Act made
provision for voluntary registration and gave certain rights and privileges to
registered trade unions in return for certain obligations. Towards the end of
this period attempts were made to forge unity among various trade unions.
The attempts of people like N.